Drone spots 5 more dead elephants at Khao Yai waterfall
Oct 09 2019
Local official, Badin Chansrikam says, "We understand that the elephants were trying to cross over to the other side of the river".
In a statement, Thailand's Department of National Parks, Wildlife, and Plant Conservation said they discovered the dead body of a young elephant that was approximately three years old on the first tier of the Haew Narok waterfall in Khao Yai National Park on Saturday morning.
One official said Tuesday that the death toll of 11 is the highest number of elephants to die in a single incident in Khao Yai.
It is thought the animals may have been trying to save a baby elephant that slipped over the edge. This is not, in fact, the first time that such a tragedy has occurred at Haew Narok; in 1992, according to the BBC, a herd of eight elephants plunged to their deaths there.
Analysis of the footage identified the bodies of five more elephants in addition to the six originally reported after the accident.
Two elephants had been watching the distressed infant before stepping into the water in an effort to help.
The waterfall is closed to the public following the incident.
Drones are being used to search for two surviving animals that apparently returned to the forest. Like other Asian elephants, which are classified as "endangered" by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), wild elephants in Thailand are threatened by habitat loss and poaching.
The additional five were spotted by drone near the notorious fall known as Haew Narok (Hell's Fall).
The 2,000-square kilometre Kao Yai National Park is believed to have around 300 wild elephants as well as other wildlife. Authorities said all six of the elephants drowned.