WATCH: Drowning elephant rescued in 12-hour operation

Sri Lankan naval personnel carried out a 12-hour rescue operation of an elephant found awash at sea, 8km (5miles) from the northeast coast of Colombo, on Wednesday.

A Fast Attack Craft (FAC) warship carrying out a routine patrol spotted the large mammal, which had been dragged out to sea by a strong current, and called for backup.

Three ships were deployed during the rescue effort which gently guided the distressed animal to the shore using ropes.

Once back on land, the team handed the elephant over to the Department of Wildlife, which had provided remote advisory help during the operation.