The dead elephants included a three-year old calf. Two others were saved after they became stranded while apparently trying to rescue one of those that fell into the current. 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). “It was an accident. We have often seen this happening,” National Resources and Environment Minister Varawut Silpa-archa told media. 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, it’s believed.
There are around 300 wild elephants in the park, which covers more than 2,000 square km. It is home to various wild animals, including bears, elephants and gibbons. Around 7,000 Asian elephants remain in Thailand. Elephants are Thailand’s national animal. Deforestation has pushed the wild population into closer contact with humans in recent decades.