BANGKOK, Oct. 05 (Xinhua) -- Thai authority on Saturday announced Haew Narok waterfall in Khao Yai National Park, in northeastern Thailand, off-limits after six wild elephants fell into a deep ravine and drowned to death.
Thanya Netithamkul, chief of the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, told the press that several elephants slipped and fell into the ravine, and six had been confirmed dead.
Thanya said that park rangers on Saturday morning heard elephants crying in the creek leading to the waterfall.
"Park officials rushed to the scene to find a baby elephant aged around three years drowned on the top layer of the waterfall. They also noticed two adult elephants, which were frantically trying to advance into the flowing water to save their young, looking extremely exhausted," said Thanya.
"Six elephants have died from drowning. Hence, I have ordered the national park to close the area to tourists, and will find ways to prevent such accidents from happening again in the future," said Thanya.
Haew Narok Waterfall which in Thai literally means "hell's abyss" -- is a popular tourist attraction where wild elephants are frequently sighted.
The waterfall got its terrifying name for being extremely high and steep, and that elephants and other animals often fall to their deaths at this waterfall.
Haew Narok Waterfall is located in Khao Yai National Park, located in Nakorn Ratchasima Province. It is Thailand's third largest national park. It is well known for wild animals roaming freely in the national park.