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Thai Officials Try to Retrieve Bodies of 11 Elephants from Waterfall

Photo by Thai News Pix taken on Oct. 5, 2019, shows two elephants trapped on a cliff at a waterfall at Khao Yai National Park.

Officials are working urgently to retrieve the bodies of 11 elephants that died after trying to save each other from a waterfall in a national park in central Thailand.

Park rangers had initially thought six adult elephants had died Saturday while trying to save a three-year-old calf that had slipped down the falls.

But Monday, a drone found the bodies of five more elephants in the waters below the fall in Khao Yai National Park.

Authorities have strung a net downstream to catch the bodies as they float down the fast-moving waters. There is concern that the rotting bodies will contaminate the water.

Officers expect the bodies to reach the net in a few days. The elephants will be buried and the area sealed with hydrated lime to prevent contamination, the Bangkok Post reported.

This is not the first such incident at the waterfall, known as Haew Narok (Hell's Fall). In 1998, eight elephants died at the same site.

Park officials put up fencing to keep the wild animals away from the area, but that has not worked.

The park is home to about 300 of Thailand's approximately 3,000 wild animals.