Six elephants die after falling into waterfall in Thailand

Park rangers helped lead two elephants from ravine and will now monitor their condition

Six wild elephants have drowned at Thailand's Khao Yai National Park. The elephant herd was trying to cross the river, when one of the baby elephants slipped into the water and the adult elephants attempted a rescue, but instead were swept away.

 

A herd of wild elephants was swept away by raging water in Thailand’s national park, drowning six, while rangers helped steer two animals out of a deep ravine.

Staff at Khao Yai National Park discovered the two struggling elephants and the carcasses of the others near the Haew Narok waterfall, also known as the Ravine of Hell, after dawn on Saturday.

The two elephants were trying to reach a dead calf, park officials said.

Park rangers helped lead the two elephants from the ravine and said they will monitor their condition throughout the week.

Some of the elephants that died in Haew Narok Waterfall in Khao Yai National Park, Prachin Buri Province, Thailand. Photograph: Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation/EPA
Some of the elephants that died in Haew Narok Waterfall in Khao Yai National Park, Prachin Buri Province, Thailand. Photograph: Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation/EPA

The waterfall was closed off to visitors while officials removed the bodies.

“The two elephants right now are taking a rest. They are exhausted from trying to cross the stream,” said Chanaya Kanchanasaka, a veterinarian at the park, located 120km (80 miles) northeast of the capital, Bangkok.

The ravines usually fill up with gushing water during a rainy season. In 1992, eight elephants died after falling into the water. The park is home to about 300 wild elephants and is part of Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai Forest Complex, a Unesco World Heritage site.–PA