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6 Elephants Die in Attempt to Save Calf

The baby elephant slipped over a waterfall, others followed
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 7, 2019 12:03 PM CDT
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In this Oct. 5, 2019, photo released by the Department of National Parks, two elephants are seen stuck on the edge of the Haew Narok Waterfall in Khao Yai National Park, Nakhon Nayok, central Thailand.   (Department of National Parks via AP)
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(Newser) – A horrible story out of Thailand, where a baby elephant apparently slipped over a waterfall and six elephants ultimately died in the ensuing rescue attempt. Officials at the Khao Yai National Park say all the elephants that died Saturday fell from the "notorious" Haew Narok or "Hell's Fall," the BBC reports. The body of a three-year-old calf was found near the base of the waterfall, and the five others nearby. Two other members of the herd were saved after hours trapped at the waterfall, CNN reports; officials heard them crying out. The waterfall has been temporarily closed, the Guardian reports, and a net has been set up downstream to catch the elephants' bodies before they reach a dam.

Officials, who warn that the bodies could contaminate the water, hope to get them to an area where they can be removed from the water with a backhoe and buried. There are about 300 wild elephants in the park, which is a popular tourist destination; an official tells Reuters the incident "was an accident. We have often seen this happening." Indeed, a herd of eight died in a similar case in 1992, and now officials are calling for a barricade to be erected to halt such incidents. The two surviving elephants could face difficulties, experts warn, as elephants rely on traveling in herds in order to find food and be protected. (Read more elephants stories.)

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