Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Eight elephants killed by trains in 2 incidents in India

January 2013. In two separate incidents, at least 8 elephants have been killed by trains in India, and several more wounded.

In the first incident, in Orissa, in east India, 5 elephants were killed when their herd was struck by a fast moving train. 3 days later, 3 more elephants were killed in Buxa Tiger Reserve in West Bengal, and two calves were injured; it is unlikely they will survive.Elephants in danger from trains

India still has some 25,000 wild elephants, but the population is under serious pressure from loss of habitat, poaching, human/elephant conflict and train strikes. Special measures have been put in place in some districts to protect elephants from trains. Collision prevention measures

It was agreed that, after previous incidents where elephants were killed by trains, that the Ministry of Environment & Forests would engage elephant trackers equipped with mobile phones to receive and pass on information regarding presence of elephant herds around the track. Indian Railways on its part has already issued standing instructions to Station Masters that whenever any information is received regarding movement of elephants, caution orders be issued to drivers for observing utmost care (speed restriction, whistling etc.) while driving in the relevant section. 

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