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nancy and rajanAs a PADI Master Instructor and an active teacher and coach at a Dallas-area High School, Nancy has certainly has plenty of stories to share. None is more interesting or unique than her encounter with Rajan, the swimming elephant. She explains in this feature story…..

When I told my friends I was going to travel twelve-and-one-half time zones away, to India and the Andaman Islands to film an elephant swimming, they all responded, “Elephants swim?” This one does.

Rajan is a fifty-six year-old Asian bull elephant, a real tusker. He was brought to the Andaman Islands to work in the logging industry more years ago than anyone can remember. By day, Rajan was a beast of burden, laboring in the forest, moving logs as the mahout (elephant handler) directed. With the heat of the day and trunk-breaking work behind him, Rajan lumbered into the cool ocean with his mate of twenty years. It was she who taught him to swim. Sadly, no one remembers much about her.

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