In India, 18 elephants found dead: they were struck by lightning
Eva Deschamps / May 14, 2021
At least 18 elephant remains have been found in the jungle of Assam state in northeastern India, authorities said Friday. They have launched an investigation into the cause of their deaths, which are believed to have been caused by lightning.
Assam Forest Minister Parimal Suklabaidya said he was deeply saddened by the death of these animals. According to him, the elephants may have been killed by lightning that struck the Kandali Proposed Reserve Forest in Nagaon district on Wednesday night.
It is extremely painful to see elephants die like this. But we have to wait for the post-mortem report to know the exact cause of their death," he told reporters at the site, about 150 kilometers southeast of Guwahati, the state capital.
The chief minister of Assam state, Himanta Biswa Sarma, said in a statement that he was concerned about the death of so many elephants. Forest officials and a local MP, Jitu Goswami, had also told AFP earlier that the pachyderms were probably killed by lightning.
India is home to nearly 30,000 elephants, about 60% of Asia's wild elephant population, but their population has been declining in recent years due to habitat loss and poaching for their tusks.