PETALING JAYA, Feb 12 — Witnessing an endangered animal enjoying the beauty of its natural environment is a sight to behold and an increasingly rare one at that.
A male elephant was recently spotted swimming in a lake at the Terengganu National Park in Tanjung Mentong, bringing much joy to animal lovers.
The amazing footage was recorded and shared on Twitter by the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan) on Monday.
Semasa kakitangan PERHILITAN melakukan rondaan penguatkuasaan di Tanjung Mentong, Taman Negara Terengganu, terdapat seekor gajah jantan sedang berenang merentasi tasik. Kakitangan PERHILITAN telah mengiringigajah tersebut sehinggake tebing bagi memastikan keselamatannya. pic.twitter.com/QGUFYGaMun— Jabatan PERHILITAN (@PERHILITAN) February 10, 2020
“While Perhilitan staff were patrolling at Tanjung Mentong, Terengganu National Park, there was a male elephant swimming across the lake towards the shore.
“Perhilitan staff escorted the elephant until it made it to the edge to ensure its safety,” Perhilitan wrote on its Twitter account.
“We often think elephants will sink the second they enter the water because of their size and weight but elephants are excellent swimmers.
“While in the water, they can swim and use their trunks to dive and breathe,” a second post followed from the wildlife protection governmental organisation.
It took no time for thousands of Twitter users to gush over the adorable gentle giant who seemed to be having a fun day doing laps.
“So nice to wild animals free like this. I ask all of us to care for our environment and love the environment,” @erunyyzam wrote.
“Suddenly feel like crying watching this. I hope this national park is well taken care of,” said @Izzuexdn.
im hoping authorities & gov can do more than now protecting our animals.— yennéfer (@quehqoci) February 10, 2020
Best thing I have seen today! Look at that sexy derrière!— Lava Girl (@LHAVANYA_D) February 10, 2020
“Worried about poachers, hope all the elephants are safe in their habitat,” added @_TVfXQsoul.
Other users were in awe of the way the elephant appeared to turn around to say thanks to the park rangers who guided it to safety.
“At the end when it turned around as if to say, ‘Thanks guys, see you again’ is so cute,” @msyth__ exclaimed.
Awww....the elephant turned twice to say thank you to you guys! May God bless you all and ease your way always in keeping the animals and nature safe.— SailorMun (@MunSailor) February 11, 2020
There were also those who praised the elephant’s superb swimming skills much to the envy of Twitter users who can’t swim.
The clip which lasted for two minutes and two seconds received over 128,000 views, more than 7,000 likes and 6,500 retweets at the time of writing.
Malaysia’s endangered elephant population, particularly the deaths of the Borneo pygmy elephant in Sabah have been making headlines since last year.
The number of deaths continues to rise with two new cases reported over the weekend when two elephant carcasses were found in different parts of Sabah’s east coast.
According to the Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment Ministry, there have been 145 elephant deaths since 2010, with 20 deaths within the first 10 months of 2019, and about 40 in the last two years.
The elephants are believed to have been poached for their tusks and poisoned due to human and wildlife conflict among villagers and plantation workers.