Karela Fry

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One train kills 7 elephants

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Train kills elephants

Train kills elephants

Such an awful piece of news reported by BBC:

Seven elephants were killed after being hit by a speeding goods train in India as they attempted to rescue two young ones on the track.

Officials in West Bengal said five died instantly and two others later succumbed to their injuries. Another elephant was wounded but survived.

The baby elephants became trapped on the track at Moraghat Tea Garden, near Binnaguri in the Jalpaiguri district.

The others wandered onto the line in an attempt to free them.

The track, which connects New Jalpaiguri to Assam, was closed down for several hours after the collision, as other elephants were guarding the dead and injured animals.

Forest officials say that speeding trains regularly hit elephants in the area as the track crosses the elephants’ known route, according to the Times of India.

Why is it not mandatory for trains to slow down near known elephant routes? Mr. Jairam Ramesh closed down India’s major neutrino experiment for less. This one rule would have saved at least 118 elephants.

It is indeed a happy circumstance that on the day after the incident TOI carried this report:

Wildlife experts described Wednesday’s accident that saw the death of seven elephants on railway tracks in the Dooars as one of the blackest days in the history of wildlife conservation in India.

Most experts TOI spoke to urged the railways to withdraw goods trains on the route at night and to make sure that a speed limit was maintained.

In fact, Wild Life Trust of India is also thinking of replicating the Rajaji National Park model in north Bengal. “In 18 kilometre stretch, elephant death by trains were frequent. But ever since, we began the save wild life project along the train track, not a single case happened,” said Ashok Kumar of Wild Life Trust of India. The Rajaji model includes sensitising motormen, regular patrolling along the track, slowing down the speed of the train particularly at the blind turns and wireless communication between the motormen and forest guards. “We are now implementing the same model in Mahananda wild life sanctuary. In north Bengal it would be definitely of a larger scale,” said Kumar.

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Written by Arhopala Bazaloides

September 23, 2010 at 3:59 pm

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