Questions remain as to why the elephant family had wandered so close to the edge of the aptly named Hell’s Fall in the first place (causing their baby to tumble over and setting off such a heartbreaking tragedy).
It is believed that recent drought conditions in Thailand’s Khao Yai National Park drove the elephants, in their search for water, further afield. “It is also possible that the elephants were trying to avoid contact with humans” as poaching and human-elephant conflict remain real threats to the survival of this species in Thailand.
Addressing the need for increased “safety measures” Thailand’s Natural Resources and Environment Minister, Varawut Silpa-archa, has ordered park rangers to strengthen their existing barriers, to elephant proof them, if you will. It is also crucial for the elephants’ survival that “more water and food sources” are created closer in, to the more protected areas of the park. This should “…discourage” them “from returning to the deadly spot“.
Elephant Death Toll Climbs to 11
With the recent grim discovery (via drone footage) of the five additional little Asian elephant bodies in the ravine (not far from the scene where the first six members of their elephant family died) this tragedy will now go on record as having “the highest number of elephants to die in a single incident in Khao Yai” National Park in northeastern Thailand.
The elephant herd, originally counted at 13 is now down to the two who were rescued cliff side. They remain vulnerable as their Matriarch and elephant herd are no longer there to guide them. On a positive note they were last spotted browsing in the park “‘alive and kicking’ and on the road to recovery“.
Stay strong little elephants.
Watch video: “Six elephants plunge to death at notorious waterfall in Thailand” at The Daily Mail
For more of the story see also: “Six Little Asian Elephants Plummet to Their Deaths at Same Waterfall in Thailand Where This Tragedy was Repeated 27 Years Before”
Images: CC Wikimedia elephant family painting by santhosh
Fact: Hell’s Fall in Thailand has a 656 foot drop.
Elephant Fact: Only about “7,000 Asian elephants remain in Thailand” & half of their elephant population is held in captivity.
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Resources and for all of the photos from this elephant tragedy see:
“Hell’s Fall waterfall claims another five elephants which were found downstream from spot where six died last week” by Ross Ibbetson at MailOnline The Daily Mail ; “More dead wild elephants found at Thai waterfall; toll at 11“ by AP ; “Thai park where 11 elephants died in waterfall strengthens fences” by AFP at The Daily Mail Online