On Thursday morning, villagers made a grim discovery in a forested reserve area in India’s eastern state of Assam. According to multiple sources, a total of 18 wild Asiatic elephants were found dead in the foothills of the Kundoli reserve forest area; it is believed that the herd of elephants died during a severe lightning storm.
Local officials have instigated an investigation, but it is believed that the elephants died from a natural occurrence. M K Yadava, Chief Wildlife Warden is quoted in the Indian Express:
We suspect that it is a lighting strike that killed them as a result of the storm yesterday.
The dead elephants were not huddled together, and though their deaths do not appear to be suspicious, the situation is undergoing an in-depth investigation to rule out foul play.
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