An investigation team investigating the cause of the deaths of 18 elephants (including five elephants) ruled out the effects of the toxin or poison. Found dead on a hilltop near the city of Nagaon, Assam, the animals died due to “accidental lightning strike” with a peak current of at least 39,000 amperes, writes Indian Express.
The autopsy was carried out by a team of six veterinarians led by Deputy Forestry Department KK Deori. “An exhaustive report, including the autopsy results and the findings of the authorities concerned, proved that the lightning caused the death of the herd of elephants,” wrote In his microblog, Assam State Minister of Forestry Parimal Suklabaidya.
On the night of May 11-12, eighteen elephants died on Bamuni Hill in the Kundoli Forest Reserve. The investigation team added that meteorological reports and local information from nearby villages indicated the appearance of lightning and thunderstorms, which led to the incident. The total number of lightning flashes then reached 350. At the site of the death of animals, burnt trees were also found, split in the middle.
In Africa last year, more than 350 elephants died in northern Botswana. Scientists called the incident a “environmental disaster.” The first animal deaths were recorded in the Okavango Delta in early May, and by the end of the month, 169 individuals had already died. The number of dead animals grew, and more than 70 percent of them were concentrated near the water holes.