Elephants are remarkably intelligent and communal animals. They often exhibit the same attachments as humans to members of their herd. That attachment led to tragedy this week when most of a herd died in Thailand while trying to rescue a calf at a waterfall. This terrible loss should educate people about these animals and the savagery of hunting them. I have repeatedly denounced killing giant elephants and other forms of trophy hunting. From the killing of Voortrekker (“Pioneer”) to countless other elephants, these magnificent animals are being killed for the vanity and thrill kill of wealthy hunters.
The three-year-old calf fell in at the Haew Narok Waterfall, also known as “Hell’s Abyss.” According to Thai Public Broadcasting Service, five adult elephant rushed to save the calf only to drown in the attempted rescue. Only two elephants remain alive. There is a great concern over the future of those elephants. These animals are known to grieve such losses deeply and that grief can reduce the chances for survivors.
The tragedy in Khao Yai National Park would not be in vain if people would see the nobility of these animals and rally against trophy hunting of elephants and other animals.
4 thoughts on “Hell’s Abyss: Five Adult Elephants Die In Effort To Save Calf”
I read about this the other day, and it made me cry. Elephants have extremely strong family bonds. The herd is cooperative; when someone is in trouble, they are not left behind. Everyone tries to help, which is how this tragedy happened. None of them was going to abandon the others. It speaks strongly of their devotion that they died trying to save each other. In addition, much of their behavior is learned. The matriarch and older members are the ones who pass down the knowledge of how to trek for water, where to go, and when. Nature is unforgiving, and this knowledge is critical. At least one of the two survivors is young. I don’t know about the other. The situation might be like expecting a 10 year old child to make it on his own in the wilderness. I remember watching a documentary on elephants, where they had to make a very long trek to water. One of the younger adolescents got turned around in all the dust, and the others did not realize he was gone. The drone filmed him rushing to catch up…in the wrong direction…heading away from water. I could never ascribe to the scientific approach of non interference. I would have been down there giving him buckets of water and trying to head him back in the right direction.
This is not the first time that this has happened at Hell’s Abyss. There is a reason for its grim name. I hope they fence the damn thing.
If they were smart they would have tried a different tactic after the first one died. And btw, this has nothing to do with hunting.
Paul – the sides are very steep. I think they were trying to make their way down to help, and slipped. The two survivors were trapped on the cliff and were rescued with ropes.
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