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Asian elephant, Andaman Islands, Indian Ocean

In the past, Rajan the Asian elephant was used as a water taxi, swimming with heavy goods on his back for many kilometres, around these islands in the Indian Ocean.

Local people used elephants like we use horses to work. When something needed to be built, they would swim with them for long distances from island to island.

These days, because of the invention of motorised taxis, Rajan is the last of the swimming elephants. And now he only dives in for pleasure, not to work...

Photo courtesy of Daniel Botelho