Five gritty elephants swim to escape watery grave in India

A herd of eight elephants was spotted trying to cross river Mahanadi near the reservoir of the dam.

The incredible story of survival unfolded on October 15 near Munduli dam in Cuttack district of Odisha, India.

Three elephants turned back as they found the river deep and the water current swift.

Many rivers in Odisha are overflowing due to heavy rains that accompanied Cyclone Thitli three days ago.

Five elephants of the herd continued to swim ahead but started drifting with the current of the water.

They entered the reservoir area of the dam and started moving towards the sluice gates of the dam, which are used to maintain the water level.

Fearing that the elephants may get stuck at the sluice gates, the dam officials lifted them.

Water swept out of the reservoir in force carrying the elephants with them.

Wildlife activist Lalit Mohan Panda, who shot a few of the videos, said: “The sudden opening of the gates made the elephants appear helpless for some time. But after a few moments, they gathered their wits and started swimming again.”

“Elephants are such good swimmers, they can easily swim across fully flooded rivers,” he added.

Three of the elephants found shallow water quickly and stopped to rest. Two others had to swim for some more distance before reaching the shore safely.