Six elephants in Thailand fell to their deaths as they were trying to save one another at Haew Narok waterfall, also known as Hell’s Fall.
According to Thai PBS World, officials heard elephant cries at around 3 a.m. Saturday morning coming from the waterfall, located in Khao Yai national park. Upon investigating, officials found a 3-year-old baby elephant half-submerged in the first tier of the waterfall, as well as two elephants standing on the edge of a cliff above.
After venturing deeper into the ravine path, park officials found five adult elephants, all dead after drowning in the stream.
The waterfall was closed from all visitors on Saturday upon order from the park chief. He also instructed the officials to move the remaining two elephants so they could avoid the same tragic fate, Thai PBS World reported.
Edward Wiek, the founder of Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand, tweeted that one of the two surviving elephants is the mother of the 3-year-old calf that drowned.
In an interview with BBC, Wiek said the death of the elephants is “like losing half your family.”
“There’s nothing you can do, it’s nature, unfortunately,” Wiek added.
He also told BBC that it may be difficult for the surviving elephants to live, as elephants tend to suffer from emotional grief and typically rely on larger herds for food and protection.
The BBC also reported that a herd of eight elephants died after falling in the waterfall in 1992.
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