After being swept just under 10 miles out to sea, dramatic footage has been released of the navy stepping in to recuse an elephant.
Officials first noticed the animal in distress after a routine patrol off the island's northeast coast. The animal was struggling to stay afloat and used its trunk as a makeshift snorkel to breathe.
Sri Lankan Navy officials believe the animal was pulled out to sea while trying to cross the Kokkilai lagoon. The lagoon lies in the middle of an animal sanctuary and sits between two stretches of jungle.
"They usually wade through shallow waters or even swim across to take a short cut," one official told Agence France-Presse (AFP).
Continue to the next page to see the rescue video.