• Tue. Jun 15th, 2021

Lightning is believed to have killed a herd of 18 wild Asiatic elephants in remote north-eastern India

ByDavies

May 16, 2021
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Lightning is believed to have killed a herd of 18 wild Asiatic elephants in remote north-eastern India.

Key points:

  • A forest guard found 14 elephants dead atop a hill and four at its bottom in a remote area on Thursday
  • Preliminary reports by veterinarians said the elephants were struck by lightning, but authorities said autopsies were being done to ascertain the exact cause of death.
  • Assam is home to an estimated 6,000 or more wild Asiatic elephants which constantly come out of the forests in search of food

The elephants, including five calves, were found dead during rains in the protected Kondali forest reserve, wildlife official Jayanta Goswami said.

The forest guard reached the remote area on Thursday and found 14 elephants dead atop a hill and four at its bottom.


Preliminary reports by veterinarians said the elephants were struck by lightning, but Mr Goswami said autopsies were being done to ascertain the exact cause of death.

The reserve is in Assam state’s Nagaon district, 150 kilometres east of Gauhati, the state capital.

Assam is home to an estimated 6,000 or more wild Asiatic elephants which constantly come out of the forests in search of food.

Conservationists have urged the government to prevent encroachment of people and to establish free corridors for the elephants to move between forests safely.

In recent years, wild elephants have entered villages, destroyed crops and even killed people.

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