Of all the animals of the world elephants are considered the most intelligent beings. They have excellent memory and they can take decisions pertaining to their previous experiences. These largest animals of the land have always dominated the planet but they could not avoid being tamed by man. Man made the use of these animals in lifting heavy loads as logs of woods etc. The same story is of Rajan.
Rajan – The Ocean Swimming Elephant at Andaman Islands
Rajan is an elephant that is the last of the community that was trained to swim in the sea. This training was not for fun rather this elephant was used similar to his other brethrens to push the heavy loads from water to the land surface. However, when this practice was banished it was thought that the elephant must be sold to the temple.
But to save him from that it was decided that he should be bought and for this there had to be taken a loan of £ 37,000. This loan was huge and had to be paid by Rajan himself. For this he had to swim with the photographers and guests who were on getting a photo clicked with the swimming elephant. They were ready to pay as much was asked for a few moments’ swimming with Rajan. Ultimately Rajan was able to pay back his loan and is now leading a quiet and free life of retirement.
Though he had a huge loan on his shoulders he was never forced to swim. It was only when he wanted to swim that he went for it. This 65+ years old elephant is now a free elephant on the Havelock Island of Andaman. Barefoot India, the owners of this elephant are proud of Rajan who happens to be the last elephant that can swim in the sea. It is believed that salt water irritates the eyes but not for Rajan. He swam in the sea as if he is born for it. He used his trunk as snorkel enjoyed swimming.
Rajan is always accompanied by Nazrool, the 59 years old mahaut who takes care of this huge and beautiful animal. When Rajan used to go for swimming Nazrool was always there with him. The photographers say that Rajan always knew that he was being photographed.
This magnificent giant has amazing tusks and a powerful built but while in the water he swims in the same peddling motion as a dog would do. But, now since Rajan has repaid his loan he can have quiet time in the jungle walking through the forest along with his mahaut. He can swim too but he is no more obliged to do so and would be only at his free will in the same way as it was before.
Rajan and Nazrool are perfect example of harmonious living in the nature. they are so different from each other but still they are inseparable. Almost all the people who have visited Havelock have made it a point that they got a photograph clicked with Rajan as he is aging and this magnificence is rare to watch anywhere in the world.
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