New Delhi, July 17 (ANI): A grown-up and healthy elephant was found dead alongside the railway track that links Coimbatore with Palakkad on Friday.
The jumbo was reportedly knocked down by the speeding Thiruvananthapuram bound express train from Bangalore around the early dawn hours.
This accident has taken the total number of elephants killed this year by trains between Coimbatore and Palakkad to eight.
Soon after the incident, forest rangers and officials of the Palakkad Railway Division rushed to the spot and moved the carcass of the elephant with cranes.
This process disrupted the train service along this route for nearly 10 hours.
As news of dead elephant spread, people from the near-by villages gathered at the spot and paid their tributes to the dead animal.
"It's a tribute to Lord Vinayaka (elephant god). We will bathe the elephant, offer flowers and treat it with camphor. It is a public participatory event," said Poovathaa, a local.
Dr. Manoharan, a veterinarian who had been summoned by the Forest Department officials, said that poor visibility, caused by incessant rain in the early morning hours might have killed the jumbo, while crossing the track.
"In the last one year between Coimbatore and Palakkad, about eight elephants have died. Today a 35-year-old male elephant, while crossing the track between ...was hit by the speeding Bangalore- Thiruvananthapuram Mail and died on the spot. Today early morning it was incessantly raining so probably due to that this incident happened," said Dr. Manoharan.
Experts claim that massive deforestation, poaching and people encroaching upon forest corridors have forced elephants to move out of their natural habitats in search of food and water.
Over 50 per cent of Asiatic elephants, considered to be among the most intelligent animals, live in India. (ANI)