Drone video finds 11 elephants actually drowned in waterfall in Thailand

A horrific story about elephants drowning after trying to rescue one of their own, a calf, has turned even more horrible with video showing that 11 wild elephants actually died, five more than originally thought.

Wildlife officials in Thailand found the carcasses of five more wild elephants downstream from a waterfall where the bodies of six elephants were found last weekend.

The carcasses were discovered by a drone being used to investigate how the first six elephants plunged to their deaths at the Haew Narok waterfall, known as the Ravine of Hell, in Khao Yai national park in central Thailand, said Sompote Maneerat, spokesman for the national parks, wildlife and plant conservation department.

Park officials said the first group of elephants died trying to reach a dead calf. The newly discovered victims are thought to have come from the same herd.

The ravines usually fill up with gushing water during the rainy season.

Maneerat said the death toll of 11 is the highest number of elephants to die in a single incident in Khao Yai, where the elephant population is estimated to be about 300. Eight elephants died at the same waterfall almost 30 years ago.

The six wild elephants died while apparently trying to save each other after falling into a waterfall at Khao Yai national park in Thailand.

Two others were saved during the incident on Saturday at Haew Narok waterfall in the north-eastern province of Nakhon Ratchasima, officials said.

The way elephants stick together is one of the most endearing things about them. We wrote about a baby elephants getting rescued after getting stuck in a lake  

The elephants fell over the waterfall after one of the youngest members of the herd, a 3-year-old, was swept away by the river.

The deaths occurred after heavy rainfall in Khao Yai National Park in central Thailand, home to about 170 of the country’s 3,000 wild elephants.

The two other elephants who had avoided getting swept away were trapped for a time when they tried to climb out of the rugged canyon.

The national park, about 80 miles northeast of Bangkok, has installed fencing along the banks of the 115-foot-wide Samor Poon Creek to try to prevent such accidents. But it was not sufficient in this case, Mr. Kanchit said.

After the strong current swept the six elephants to their death, the two survivors, a mother and calf, found a pathway down to where the bodies were lying on the rocks.

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