An investigation team investigating the cause of the deaths of 18 elephants (including five babies) 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 an “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.
“The report, including the autopsy results and the findings of the authorities concerned, proved that the cause of death was lightning,” wrote the Minister of Forestry.
On the night of 12 May, 18 elephants died on the Bamuni hill in the Kundoli protected forest.
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.