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Drones to be used to track two elephants that may have survived tragedy

Oct 07. 2019
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By The Nation

Officials have found evidence of two wild elephants surviving by climbing rocks of the Haew Narok waterfall, and they intend to use drones to check on their whereabouts and health.

Six wild elephants died after they fell into a waterfall at Khao Yai National Park in the northeastern Nakhon Ratchasima province.

Meanwhile, a rescue team is trying to retrieve the bodies of the six elephants. Three carcasses have been washed away and the remaining three are reportedly trapped amid rocks.

Wichai Pornliangsuwan, director of the National Park Division The Office of Conservation Area 1 (Prachin Buri), was speaking on Sunday about progress in recovering the remains of the wild elephants that fell into the Haew Narok Waterfall.

He said the rescue team had found that the remains of three elephants were trapped in the rocks while the other three had been washed away by the current.

He said the staff will set up a net to prevent the trapped carcasses from flowing down, and search the landfill for the elephant carcasses.

Three trucks of bananas were ready on Saturday for the two surviving elephants to restore their energy.

Recently, officials who surveyed the area at 5am found evidence of two elephants trying to climb up the rock from the waterfalls. They believe both had survived the fall and had already walked into the forest. They will launch unmanned drones to try and trace them and examine their condition.

“If we don’t find more remains [of elephants] in the river, we could reasonably assume that the two elephants are safe. Staff reported that the elephants had started to move their ears and tail again at 4am, which was a clear sign of an improvement in their condition, both physical and mental,” Wichai commented.

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