Earlier this year I was commissioned to create a watercolour painting for a surprise birthday gift. The subject was a unique elephant called ‘Rajan’
In the 1970's on the Adaman Islands, off the coast of India, elephants were taught to swim from island to island carrying heavy loads of logs to help with the timber trade. In the 1980's exporting timber became illegal on the island. The majority of the remaining elephants were sadly sold to various temples. Raised in captivity Rajan stayed on the island and he was almost sold to a temple himself until the people at Barefoot Resorts raised the funds to buy his freedom. Rajan has stayed on the island ever since with his caretaker, becoming quite an attraction on the island. For years the friendly elephant would walk down to the beach to swim and dive in the ocean at his own free will. Now in his 60's Rajan has retired from swimming and spends his days roaming through the forests and around the beach.