Of late, there have been far too many deaths of elephants hit by trains running through Assam. Last Saturday, five elephants were killed when a passenger train hit them at Lanka in Hojai district. At least 12 elephants lost their lives in train accidents in Assam last year. In 2016, 16 elephants had been killed by speeding trains. There has to be a way of looking after our elephants and preventing elephant deaths. And yet, it is not as though animals too have not been responsible for deaths of human beings. According to Assam’s Forest Minister Pramila Rani Brahma, between 2013 and 2017, 463 people were killed by wild animals. However, it is getting to be far more important to look after the safety of elephants because they cannot appreciate the hazards of deaths caused by moving trains when they cross railway tracks. Minister Brahma claims that movements of elephants is being regularly monitored and that many elephant deaths have been prevented. She has said that elephant anti-depredation squads have been formed and that trained elephants were being deployed to monitor the movements of wild elephants and to chase them back to forests from agricultural lands and revenue areas. While one wishes that movements of elephant herds can always be monitored and controlled, there is also need for sound emitting devices that can scare elephant herds from moving to places where we do not want them to be.
Looking after Elephants