Growing Pains and Speeding Trains

Fight for Rhinos

 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.

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…

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6 thoughts on “Growing Pains and Speeding Trains

  1. It never ends. Even where we have a direct responsibility, we don’t seem to be able to take it. Are these train operators, one wonders, while being “repeatedly urged” to slow down through elephant corridors, also being pressured to make their schedules? I wouldn’t be surprised.

    The photo of the woman offering flowers to the victim is an image that should inform our psyches.

      • Indeed it was. When I hear of something like that, though, I am immediately suspicious: is the “urging to slow down” a formality that the company engages in while in reality making employees fear the loss of their jobs if they do not speed? That way, the company or agency that runs the train service avoids taking the blame, and the authorities have “permission” to turn a blind eye. Call me cynical….I find it hard to believe that a train operator has any reason to be in a hurry and risk hitting a large animal without pressure from above. And this question should be asked and answered there if this is to be avoided in the future.

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