Six elephants died while trying to save each other after a baby elephant fell from a waterfall in a Thai national park, officials said.
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.
Officials found two live elephants on the waterfall's cliff, attempting to go down to help the other elephants. A veterinarian is caring for them.
"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 sympathetic animals that have been known to help each other when they are distressed. They also show something resembling 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.
The Haew Narok Waterfall was 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, BBC reported.
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.
The Washington Post