Entire herd of 18 elephants killed during lightning strike in India

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This heartbreaking video shows the aftermath of a freak lightning strike believed to have killed an entire herd of 18 elephants in remote northeastern India.

The mammals are pictured lying in a forest in the state of Assam on Tuesday following a violent storm in the Kandali Proposed Reserve Forest.

A team of vets and wildlife experts have been investigating the incident, which saw five calves killed.

The forest guard reached the remote area on Thursday and found 14 elephants dead on top of a hill and four at the bottom.

Preliminary reports by vets said the elephants were struck by lightning, but tests are being carried out to ascertain the exact cause of death.

The reserve is in Assam state’s Nagaon district, 95 miles east of Gauhati, the state capital.

Assam is home to an estimated 6,000 or more wild Asiatic elephants who constantly come out of the forests in search of food.

Conservationists have urged the government to prevent encroachment of people and to establish free corridors for the elephants to move between forests safely.

In recent years, wild elephants have entered villages, destroyed crops and even killed people.

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