Five more dead elephants have been spotted in Khao Yai National Park as officials struggle to remove the carcasses of six others that perished in the same area.
Nakhon Nayok governor Natthapong Sirichana on Tuesday announced the discovery of five more dead elephants in Haew Narok waterfall near the location where six others were found dead on Saturday. A drone flying over the area spotted their bodies in the waterfall, he said.
The gruesome discovery brings the toll to 11, one of the biggest losses to Thailand’s wild elephant population in recent memory. Officials believed all were from the same herd, but the reason they plunged into the strong current remains unknown.
Khao Yai straddles Saraburi, Nakhon Ratchasima, Nakhon Nayok and Prachin Buri provinces. The area where the elephants died is in Pak Phli district of Nakhon Nayok.
Drones are being used to search for two surviving animals that apparently returned to the forest.
Park officials and rescuers are hoping to trap the carcasses of the dead elephants in a large net capable of handling up to 40 tonnes they have rigged downstream from the waterfall near the Khun Dan Prakan Chon dam in Nakhon Nayok.
The net is intended to prevent the carcasses from polluting the reservoir. The dead elephants will be examined for clues to their deaths before burial.