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Five Elephants Killed By Lighting in West Bengal, India

The Telegraph reports that five elephants were found dead on the Radiak riverbed near Alipurduar in Jalpaiguri district, West Bengal. Forest officials have given lightning as the reason. The dead elephants, which included two cubs, were spotted by employees of a tea estate near Buxa tiger reserve.

Although the government believes the cause of death was lighting it has ordered an inquiry into the episode.

Elephants do get killed by lighting but it is very rare that so many of them get killed in one stroke. Wildlife officials were unable to recall similar instances. Animesh Bose, the founder of the Himalayan Nature and Adventure Foundation, recalled an instance in late 1980s when five elephants were killed by lightning.