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Thread: Train Runs Over Four Elephants In Assam

  1. #1
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    Default Train Runs Over Four Elephants In Assam

    Saw this in the news on TV yesterday... Posting this Deccan Chronicle report from the net.

    Guwahati: A speeding freight train mowed down four wild Asiatic elephants, including two calves, amid dense fog in Assam on Saturday, the authorities said.

    A railway spokesperson said that the incident occurred near Walingdisa railway station in Karbi Anglong district, about 270 km east of Assam's main city Guwahati. The train was carrying petroleum products.

    "The train hit the elephant herd squatting on the track. The train driver probably did not see the herd because of dense fog," said the Northeast Frontier Railways chief spokesperson, Mr S. Hajong.

    Witnesses said that the crash cut the calves after dragging them for about 200 metres.

    "The two adult elephants were in a pool of blood after being hit by the train," said Narayan Das, a wildlife ranger.

    Soon after the accident, hundreds of locals armed with crude implements arrived at the site and took away the nails, tusk and other body organs of the dead animals.

    "When we reached the site, we found body organs of the elephants missing," Mr Das said.

    Experts say that wild elephants have been moving out of the jungles in search of food because people have been encroaching animal corridors. This has led to increasing elephant attacks on villages.

    Elephants have killed 270 people in Assam in the past five years. A total of 280 elephants have died in the same period, many of them victims of retaliation by people, according to the wildlife department.

    Assam has India's largest population of Asiatic elephants estimated at around 5,500.

    Here is the link to the report:
    http://www.deccanchronicle.com/lates...-elephants-725

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    This is now becoming common and elephants' plight is never bothered.

    Many fail to understand that the Asiatic elephants' number is plummeting at an alarming rate and genetic base is severely affected owing to non availability of majestic bulls for mating.

    The sex ratio in several reserves is adverse. Even in famous forests of Periyar, the sex ratio is 1:100 (for tuskers).

    In many of events (such as the one shared) bulls get killed thus detoriating the genetic base.

    We ought to start securing and re-establishing the corridors if elephants are to live in this country.

    NGOs have their task cut.

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    Unfortunate.

    This is happening at an alarming regularity. The impact is enormous. The death of a few elephants means wiping out a small herd, since these days lot of herds are fragmented. The genetic diversity is getting lost.

    An elephant needs 22 months of gestation period for delivery. So replenishment of a population takes a long time if adult male and female elephants of breeding age are available. Considering that everyday the elephants are losing a part of their territory to enchroachment. Poaching continues unabated. And on top of that this menace of speeding train threatens to exterminate our elephants from a lot of areas.

    The response of the Railway authorities is hillarious.

    Quote Originally Posted by Abhishek Jamalabad View Post

    "The train hit the elephant herd squatting on the track. The train driver probably did not see the herd because of dense fog," said the Northeast Frontier Railways chief spokesperson, Mr S. Hajong.

    Witnesses said that the crash cut the calves after dragging them for about 200 metres.
    Elephants are not cattle and they don't squat like cattle on a railway track. Since the train dragged the calves for 200 meters, one can safely know that the train was on top speed.

    It is high time that we find alternate alignments for our railway tracks and till that time, the trains should move at a reduced speed when it is passing through wildlife corridors.

    Our concerned members may write to the Hon'ble minister for Railways, Kumari Mamata Banerjee
    Room No. 239, Railway Bhawan, New Delhi 110001, Fax: 23387333.

    Cheers,
    Sabyasachi

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    Default Elephant deaths on tracks: Forest officials want route changed

    Read this news on TOI.

    Elephant deaths on tracks: Forest officials want route changed

    KOLKATA: With the number of elephant deaths on rail tracks in north Bengal
    on the rise, wildlife officials want the railways to divert some trains through the Cooch Behar-Falakata-New Jalpaiguri route instead of the route which passes through 74 km of forest.

    Two more elephants were knocked down by trains last week, taking the total number of elephants killed by trains on this route since 2007 to 17, forest department sources said.

    Field director of the Buxa Tiger Reserve R P Saini said that the Railway should consider diverting some trains through the Cooch Behar-Falakata-New Jalpaiguri route instead of the 168-km-long Alipurduar-New Jalpaiguri route which passes through 74 km of forest which the elephants use for passage.

    Divisional Railway Manager of Alipurduar S Singh said the Garopara level crossing, near Kalchini, where an elephant was killed last week, was outside the elephant zone and there was no question of trains maintaining a speed limit of 20 km per hour.

    Describing the incident as unfortunate, he said that train drivers always follow restrictions in specified places.

    Saini said they had taken up the issue with the Railways regularly and perhaps as a consequence of it, engine drivers were given training. However, restriction on the speed and number of night trains was necessary, he said.

    Chief Conservator of Forest, wildlife (North) S B Patel said that an expert committee formed to look into the problem, had recommended restriction of train speed and reduction in the number of night trains on this route since elephant movement was seen mainly at night.

    Link - http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/h...ow/6030819.cms
    Regards,
    Mrudul Godbole

  5. #5
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    If the route is changed, then it sure will be a good move. In order to save the diminishing wildlife, one does have to go out of the way and make decisions, else the trend wouldn't change.

    Even in Dudhwa National Park, there is a Railway line which runs through the park. I however donot have statistics of the deaths due to that. But I'm convinced it still is a hazard to wildlife.

    Regards,
    Regards,
    Bibhav Behera
    www.bibhavbehera.com

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