All at sea: Rajan the elephant loves talking to the waves
Meet Rajan, the sea-swimming elephant.
The Indian elephant is a native of Havelock Island, part of Ritchie’s Archipelago just to the east of the Andaman Islands.
And according to his owner, there’s no one in the world who can stop him from swimming.
These underwater snaps were taken by Russian programmer and mathematician Mikhail Korostelev, who was inspired by similar photos by nature photographer Steve Bloom.
Mikhail, 34, from Moscow, said: “I wanted to take photos similar to Steve, and I found out there is just one elephant in the world who loves swimming in the sea!”
This allowed him to get the incredible underwater shots through the clear blue waters.
Mikhail said: “All the elephants on the island love swimming, but usually they swim across some dirty rivers where it’s impossible to get a decent shot. However they are all afraid of swimming in deep waters.”
Rajan’s love of the sea is part of the island’s heritage, as years ago the inhabitants used the elephants for transporting logs from one island to another.
Although the practice has long died out, and few elephants now enjoy it, 65-year-old Rajan was trained as a calf not to be scared of the sea.
Mikhail said: “The owner said only Rajan decides where he swims or not.
“My dream is fulfilled, and since then I have been trying to photograph more big animals underwater.
“But Rajan did not care about anyone else who was there. He just looked incredibly excited by the possibility to swim.”