Authorities found the roughly 3-year-old baby elephant drowned on Saturday. Five more dead elephants also were discovered at the bottom of the Haew Narok Waterfall.
Five elephants and a 3-year-old calf died at a waterfall in Thailand, according to CNN. Authorities believe the elephants died during an attempt to save the young calf. The heartbreaking incident happened Saturday at the Haew Narok waterfall at the Khao Yai National Park. Staff at Khao Yai National Park, about 85 miles northeast of Bangkok, found the roughly 3-year-old baby elephant drowned on Saturday. Five more dead elephants also were discovered at the bottom of Haew Narok Waterfall, according to the Thailand Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation.
Two elephants managed to survive, but they were reportedly trapped by the waterfall for hours before national park officials saved them and fed them pineapples, bananas and sugar cane covered in supplements. “The two elephants right now are taking a rest. They are exhausted from trying to cross the stream,” Chanaya Kanchanasaka, a veterinarian at the park, told the Associated Press.
Elephants are known to be sympathetic animals that always help one another when in need, according to The Washington Post. They also show grief when one of their own dies. The discovery on Saturday was prompted by a report of several elephants on a nearby road, Thai officials said. Authorities were also notified that elephants were crying out from the waterfall and when they arrived, they discovered the dead calf.
The Haew Narok Waterfall has been closed to visitors after the dead elephants were discovered. It was also the site of a similar incident in 1992 when eight elephants fell to their deaths there, according to a report by BBC. Khao Yai is Thailand’s third-largest national park. Haew Narok, the park’s tallest waterfall, has three tiers that total about 492 feet. Elephants are common nearby.
People were heartbroken by the news and took to social media to express their sorrow. Jen Choi wrote: This breaks my heart. I love elephants they are highly intelligent animals and they have so much love for each other. Colette Corcoran posted: Heartbreaking and these beautiful animals are very closely bonded so it’s really no surprise that the others tried to save the other one. Just sucks to lose all six in one shot. Dougie Sparks added: Such a sad thing. Shows how much elephants care for one another, they were willing to sacrifice themselves for a child.