Five elephants swim for their lives

A herd of eight elephants was spotted trying to cross an Indian river.

Theincredible story of survival unfolded on the River Mahanadi near Munduli dam in Odisha, where many rivers are overflowing following a recent cyclone.

Three elephants turned back, but five continued to swim ahead - starting to drift with the current of the water.

They entered the reservoir area of the dam and started moving towards the sluice gates, 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."

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.

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