Train kills two elephants walking on track in India

Published December 2, 2021
THE train runs past a wild male elephant in Durung Pathar, Assam.—AP
THE train runs past a wild male elephant in Durung Pathar, Assam.—AP

GAUHATI: A passenger train hit and killed two wild elephants in northeastern India’s Assam state, authorities said on Wednesday.

The two adult elephants were walking on the railway track when the train, on its way to the eastern tea-growing town of Dibrugarh from New Delhi, ran over them, killing them almost immediately, Assam wildlife ranger Dilip Kumar Das said.

The accident occurred late on Tuesday, he said. Authorities went to the site, surrounded by thick forests, on Wednesday and buried the bodies after carrying out an autopsy, Das said.

Wild elephants often stray into human habitations this time of year, when rice fields are ready for harvesting, he added.

Speeding trains have hit dozens of wild elephants in Assam in the past, forcing Indian Railways, which runs the trains, to regulate speed in known elephant zones.

Assam has an estimated 5,000 wild Asiatic elephants.

Published in Dawn, December 2nd, 2021

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