Why elephants keep getting hit by trains

While a CAG audit finds inadequate implementation of safety measures to be a reason, experts feel fatalities are unavoidable and can, at best, be minimized

In August, trains in the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand came to a standstill due to a brief rasta-roko. The protesters were a group of elephants.

A speeding train had knocked down two members of their herd earlier that day. A three-month-old calf and her mother died on the spot. “After this, the rest of the elephants in the herd got furious and surrounded their bodies, blocking the train traffic,” a forest ranger told Hindustan Times. The standoff went on for hours. Eventually, some passengers had to be sent to their destinations in buses.

If you read last month’s CAG report …


Omkar Khandekar

Omkar specializes in long-form narrative features and has reported from India, the UK, Germany and the Maldives. He writes across beats, from politics and crime to cinema and sports. His works have been published in Indian and international outlets including The Caravan, Mint Lounge, the BBC, Al Jazeera and The Huffington Post.

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