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Speeding train in Assam mows down 6 elephants

11 Décembre 2017

"Our drivers have been given a list of elephant corridors along with the prescribed speed limit", said the public relation officer of railways, adding that the place where incident took place has not been designated as elephant corridor so speed of the train crossing from the area was not regulated.

The five elephants were knocked down by the 15617 Up Guwahati-Naharlagun Express between Balipara and Dhalaibeel stations soon after the train had left Balipara at around 1:20 AM. The incident comes three weeks after two elephants were killed by Assam express train.

Five elephants, including a pregnant one, were killed in the early hours on Sunday after a train hit a herd of seven tuskers at a tea garden in Sonitpur district, forest officials said.

All the five elephants died on the spot.

"It is undoubtedly a tragic and unfortunate incident. Our staff was focused on another herd of almost 100 elephants in a different area and there was no information of pachyderm movement in the area where the accident took place", Davinder Suman, divisional forest officer Sonitpur East said.

The elephant ran amok amid a large group of devotees, trampling and killing the trainer, the Press Trust of India reported.

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Why are elephants dying in Assam?

Sixteen elephants were killed by speeding trains in 2016 and previous year, a dozen lost their lives to trains.

Increased deforestation and construction activity near their habitats force elephants to move out of reserve forests in search of food. But measures are taken by state forest department and railway authorities like patrolling and awareness campaigns to reduce the number of such accidents.

As per census conducted in 2011, Assam registered highest number of wild elephants in the country with 5620.

According to the reports, at least 30 wild elephants were killed by speeding trains in the north eastern Indian state since 2016.

Recently, the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) is experimenting with 'Plan Bee' where a device that amplifies the buzz of swarming honeybees, a natural nemesis of elephants, is being installed near tracks.

Speeding train in Assam mows down 6 elephants