A lightening strike is suspected to have killed 18 elephants in a remote forest near Gauhati, India.
A forest official confirmed that the 18 elephants, including five calves, were found dead in Kondali forest on Friday. A forest guard found 14 elephants atop a hill while four more were dead at the foot of the hill.
Veterinarians have said that initial investigation has unveiled that the elephants died of a strike, however final confirmation will come after autopsies have been conducted.
Assam is home to approximately 6,000 wild Asiatic elephants. Surrounding villages have come in conflict with the beasts who come out of the forest to forage for food, destroying crops and attacked people, resulting in fatalities.
Conservationists have recommended establishing protected corridors for the animals to prevent conflict with humans