11 elephants plunge off waterfall to their deaths after trying to save baby

Justin Chan

At least 11 elephants died after attempting to rescue a baby elephant that had slipped over a waterfall in Thailand, according to the New York Post.

Wildlife officials at Khao Yai National Park confirmed on Tuesday that a drone spotted the bodies of five more elephants near Haew Narok, a waterfall otherwise known as "Hell's Fall." Officials had initially reported that six elephants, including a 3-year-old calf, had died in a nearby ravine.

"Probably, one of the smaller elephants might have slid and the adult ones were trying to rescue them but instead, were swept away by the water," Badin Chansrikam, a local official, said.

Two elephants reportedly survived and were found near the cliff where the other elephants had fallen off.

"We assume that there were 13 elephants in this herd and two of them survived," said Nattapong Sirichanam, governor of the Nakhon Nayok province. "We are 100 percent confident that two of them are alive as the officials saw them going out for food around the area of Haew Narok falls."

Nattapong added that officials are now considering building walkways over the falls to prevent a similar incident from occurring again. In 1992, eight elephants died in the same area after falling off the cliff.