Eighteen elephants dead in India, probably by lightning

A herd of eighteen Asian elephants was found dead in eastern India. The animals, including five calves, were probably killed by lightning.

Forestry rangers found 14 dead elephants on top of a hill in the Kondhali Reserve. Four other layers spread at the bottom of the hill.

โ€œ This is a very sad incidentโ€:

A preliminary investigation suggests that lightning is the cause of the death of the animals, says a minister of Assam. Trees in the area have been burned, which may indicate the impact of lightning.

โ€œ But we need to carry out forensic tests to exclude poisoning and disease, for example,โ€ says the minister responsible. The Land wants to have a ‘high level’ study carried out.

In the state live about six thousand Asian elephants. The species has been listed as endangered species since 1986, including by poaching.