Growing Pains and Speeding Trains

 A passenger train struck a herd of elephants this week, killing 7 and injuring 10. The accident took place at dusk  in the Chapramari wildlife sanctuary, near West Bengal where approximately 40 elephants were crossing.

The train operator was speeding, even though operators have been “repeatedly urged” to reduce their speed through this part of the tracks because of the number of elephants in the area.

India villager pays respects to elephant

An Indian villager pays respects to an elephant from a previous train death.

Unfortunately this is not a random occurrence. At least 50 elephants have been killed by trains in West Bengal since 2004.

Human encroachment in elephant territories is a huge problem in India. The habitats are becoming fragmented, the elephant corridors are being stripped away.

What is an elephant corridor?
Corridors are strips of land, pathways,  that allow the elephants to move freely elephant corridors in indiafrom one area to another. Like shortcuts, they keep them connected so they are not cut off from one another or from grazing areas because of roads, logging or developments.

In India there are currently 88 elephant corridors, which are a necessity to the survival of the Asian Elephant. These corridors are difficult to maintain due to human growth and development.

The World Land Trust and the Wildlife Trust of India have been working to keep these corridors open for the elephants, even going so far as to move an entire village (see previous post: Making History for Elephants).

It is a continuing drama, as elephants strive to live and people push to grow. Human development comes with a cost. Unfortunately it is the elephants who are paying the price.

The recent  joint railway project connecting Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda, will begin construction this month.  It will undoubtedly reduce the cargo trucks on the roads, easing traffic in addition to expediting shipments.

Kenya is also planning railway construction which will connect Kenya to South Sudan.

But in the light of the elephant/train crisis in India, there is a sense of foreboding. In the face of human/animal conflict, the animals always lose.

Please read, sign and share: Stop India’s Speeding Trains From Killing Elephants

Categories: Rhino Ramblings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

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12 thoughts on “Growing Pains and Speeding Trains

  1. My heart is broken.

  2. This is heart breaking. Bless this woman who is so kind. Peace, Barbara

  3. If modern cars can beep if you are going to back up into something, why can’t trains beep if the elephants are crossing. It must be hugely expensive to replace derailed trains. Can’t they come up with monitoring in the elephant corridors?

    • They’re going to have to come up with something. Elephants are the national heritage animal in India, to preserve them seems it would certainly be a priority.

  4. Reblogged this on One Person, One World. and commented:
    So sad and wish that those train drivers could listen and not speed. Every life is so precious…

  5. Manel Dias

    The Law Enforcement Officers should stand up & stiffen the laws against those Train operators who are speeding in areas where there are wild animals. In the first place these Elephants are so sacred to many Nationalities and to murder them in sencelessly running over them by trains supposed to be accumulating unpardonable sins by those drivers. Stiffen the laws and erect Newer signs that clearly shows the Trains Need to be going the SLOWEST possible in certain areas. Make sure that these drivers abide by those recommended new rules & if they neglect them then should punish with a heafty fines. The main problem in those parts of the world there are no clear rules to follow, so every one does what ever they desire. Please don’t kill these Majestic Elephants unnecessarily. They are very intelligent and beautiful and the planet earth needs them. Please help solve this carnage. Wake up India please take drastic actions to avoid such heartbreaking incidents happening in the future.

  6. Pingback: No Vacancy? | Fight for Rhinos

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