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Assam: ‘Lightning’ kills 20 wild elephants in Nagaon

In a devastating situation, as many as 20 elephants were killed due to electrocution by lightning strikes atop Bamuni Hills in Nagaon on Wednesday night.

As per an initial investigation on Thursday morning, a herd of jumbos comprising 18 elephants was found dead lying on the foothills of the Kundoli proposed reserve forest in the Kathiatoli range, Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (Wildlife) Amit Sahay told news outlets.

Further investigation confirmed the deaths of 20 elephants of which four elephants were charred to death in the bottom hills.

While the carcasses of other elephants were found lying in the top hills.

Assam’s Chief Wildlife Warden MK Yadava said it was most likely that lightning claimed the lives of the jumbos.

“There have been incidents of lightning killing animals but this is a huge number,” he said.

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A team of veterinary doctors and wildlife experts left for Kundoli and they are expected to reach the spot by Friday morning.

According to forest officials on Thursday afternoon villagers of Bamuni Hills informed the forest department based on which a team rushed to the incident site.

The carcasses of the elephants have been recovered by the Nagaon forest department and a postmortem examination will be conducted on Friday.

As per reports published in 2019, Assam between the year 2010 and 2019 as many as 249 elephants have died due to several reasons including electrocution triggered by lightning strikes.

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