Six elephants drown attempting to save each other in Thai waterfall
Two of the herd were rescued by park staff
Six elephants drowned in a Thai national park while attempting to save a calf from their herd.
The elephants perished in a waterfall while trying to cross over to the other side of a river in north-eastern Khao Yai national park.
Local officials said the calf likely slipped into the water and the adult elephants attempted a rescue, but instead were swept away.
Officials were alerted to the sounds of distressed elephants at 3am, the Thai Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation.
Hours later they found the six elephants dead at the bottom of the gushing Haew Narok ("Hell's Abyss") waterfall.
Two of the elephants had apparently attempted to save one of those that fell, but they found themselves trapped on a thin, slippery sliver of rock above the churning waters before being saved by park staff.
"At the moment, the elephants are taking a break. They are quite tired from trying to cross over from the other side. They are just resting by standing still because they have used up a lot of energy wading through the water stream. I think they should be able to get back up through the same way they went down."
Rescuers tried to provide an energy boost by throwing down sugar cane to the struggling elephants, who still couldn't seem to find their footing.
There are roughly 300 wild elephants roaming the 2,000-square-kilometre lush national park, which is also home to other wild animals that include bears and apes.
Updated: October 6, 2019 03:04 PM