Close  

Sri Lanka train kills three elephant calves

/ 02:02 PM October 07, 2018

A passenger train hit and killed three young elephants in eastern Sri Lanka, officials said Sunday, weeks after two calves and their pregnant mother were fatally struck in the same region.

The Colombo-bound train with 600 passengers hit the herd near the village of Welikanda, 260 kilometers east of the capital on Saturday night, railway officials said.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Four compartments derailed, but fortunately there were no casualties among the passengers,” a railway official said adding that the track was extensively damaged.

The incident came less than three weeks after a similar crash involving a fuel train in the same region.

FEATURED STORIES

The three elephants, part of a larger herd, were crossing the railway track at dawn in jungle near Habarana, 180 kilometers northeast of Colombo, when they were hit and killed late last month.

The latest accident came even as the authorities investigated the previous crash to determine if the train driver had followed standard procedures while operating in jungle areas with elephant populations.

Drivers are usually expected to move slowly and sound the horn continuously to warn any wild animals on the track.

Two months ago, seven elephants drowned in a swamp in the same area. Six of the seven victims were below the age of 12.

Sri Lanka considers elephants a national treasure and they are protected by law.

However, human-elephant conflicts near wildlife sanctuaries have led to the death of 375 people in the past five years, according to official figures. Enraged villagers have also retaliated by slaughtering nearly 1,200 of the beasts.

The government announced in August that it would begin constructing 2,651 kilometres (1,556 miles) of new electric fencing to keep elephants away from villages bordering wildlife reserves.

ADVERTISEMENT

The Sri Lankan elephant population in the wild is estimated at 7,500.

Read Next
LATEST STORIES
MOST READ
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.
View comments

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: Accident, Animal, collision, Elephants, Sri Lanka
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.
entertainment

Actor Miko Palanca passes away at 41

December 10, 2019 08:58 AM

entertainment

U2 now in Manila for December 11 concert

December 10, 2019 08:54 AM

newsinfo

6-month extension of Angkas pilot run pushed

December 10, 2019 08:25 AM



© Copyright 1997-2019 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.