Trains mow wild elephants in Rajaji National Park
The Haridwar-Dehradun railway track running through the Rajaji National Park has become a death trap for elephants.india Updated: Mar 10, 2004 05:44 IST
About 23 km of Haridwar-Dehradun railway track running through the Rajaji National Park in Uttaranchal has become a death trap for wild elephants.
In the past 14 years, trains have killed 18 elephants along the stretch. The majority of the victims have been adult females.
Wildlife activists are worried that more elephants may die with traffic on the track stepping up to meet increased demands from Dehradun, now the capital of Uttaranchal.
WTI's Rapid Action Project had conducted a study sometime back to find out the major causes for the accidents. The study found that many elephants get trapped on the track as they are not able to climb over the high mounds on either side of the tracks quickly enough to move out of the way of an oncoming train.
The study also found that at least at two particular sections of the track, the mounds border the track at blind turnings where the vegetation is also dense.
There is also scarcity of water on one side of the track during peak summers when rainfall is at its lowest and temperatures at their highest.