Elephant calf killed by speeding train in Siliguri
A speeding train has killed an elephant calf near a reserved forest area in West Bengal state while the pachyderm was crossing the railway track.
The incident happened in the state's Siliguri district near the Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary where the pachyderm was killed while crossing the railway track late in the evening on Sunday (December 02).
Forest officials and some local animal rights activists arrived on the spot on Monday (December 03) to inspect the matter.
The elephant calf's body was taken away for post mortem as officials suspected that the calf might have separated from the herd.
Animal rights activist Arup Ghosh told reporters that despite repeated requests, no steps were taken by the authorities to prevent such incidents from reoccurring.
"At least 50 elephants have died after being run down by the trains. We have repeatedly requested the railway department to take some steps but they do not pay heed. We have demanded that limited trains with limited speed should operate near the forest areas. But they do not listen. They are a federal entity, so they will not listen to us," he said.
Over the past few years several cases of elephants' deaths in train accidents in India have been reported making the situation somewhat cumbersome for these pachyderms because of the presence of railway tracks near forest areas.
India has over 50 per cent of Asiatic elephants, considered to be among the most intelligent animals. Unfortunately, the number of elephants has dwindled in recent years.