One tusker killed, one critically injured as trains hit them

November 16th, 2010 - 8:45 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Nov 16 (IANS) An elephant was mowed down by a passenger train in West Bengal’s Jalpaiguri district Monday night, an official said Tuesday.

“The incident took place between Alipurduar and Jalpaiguri around 9 p.m. when the Alipurduar-bound Mahananda Link Express was passing through Rahimpur tea garden in the Dooars. The tusker, known as Makna Hati, tried to cross the railway track and was killed on the spot,” said Tapas Das, divisional forest officer, Wildlife I, Darjeeling division.

“A complaint has been lodged against the driver of the Mahananda Express,” said Das.

Another tusker, which was critically injured after being rammed by a goods train in the Mahananda wildlife sanctuary Monday afternoon, is now fighting for survival.

“The tusker hit by a goods train is now struggling for life. The elephant was dragged some 100 metres by the speeding train but it was so powerfully built that it could still limp away with injuries,” said the DFO.

The driver of the train had slowed down, which also helped the animal survive. But the elephant was severely injured. Its tusks were smashed to pieces and many bones in the rear are believed to be broken.

Seven elephants were mowed down Sep 22 on the same track. As many as 33 elephants have been killed on this track by trains in 10 years.

“The two incidents have again proven that running trains on this track at night will worsen matters for the heritage animal. This should be stopped immediately,” said Animesh Basu, coordinator of Himalayan Nature and Adventure Foundation.

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