Six elephants have fallen to their deaths in Thailand after trying to save each other from a notorious waterfall.
Officials said the incident occurred after a baby elephant slipped over the waterfall in southern Thailand’s Khao Yai National Park.
Two other elephants have been spotted on a cliff edge nearby, and Thai authorities are trying to move them.
There have been similar incidents previously at the same waterfall, known locally as Haew Narok (Hell’s Fall).
A herd of eight elephants died after falling in 1992.
Thailand’s Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) said officials were called to the scene on Saturday at 03:00 local time (20:00 GMT on Friday) when a group of elephants was blocking a road by the waterfall.
Three hours later, the body of a three-year-old elephant was spotted near the base of Haew Narok, and five others were discovered nearby.
Edwin Wiek, the founder of Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand, said any elephants left in the herd will have difficulty surviving as the animals rely on each other for protection and finding food.
The incident will also take an emotional toll, as elephants have been known to display signs of grief.
«It’s like losing half your family,» Mr Wiek told the BBC.
«There’s nothing you can do, it’s nature unfortunately,» he said.
Around 7,000 Asian elephants remain in Thailand, with more than half living in captivity.