statesman news service
SILIGURI, 3 JUNE: The state forest minister Hiten Barman said the state would take necessary steps to check elephant deaths due to collision with trains in the Dooars following today&’s meeting which was held in Delhi between the forest officials and railway officials.
“I do not have information about the outcome of the meeting. Chief Wildlife Warden Mr N C Bahuguna represented the meeting on behalf of the state. We will take necessary steps after getting the details of the meeting with top railway officials,” Mr Barman said.
On the other hand, the Jalpaiguri forest officials decided to continue search operations to look for any other injured elephants inside the nearest forests around the accident site near Moraghat where three female elephants, including two pregnant ones, were mowed down by a speeding train on the spot on the morning of 30 May. Forest officials spotted a carcass of a train-hit elephant from a nearby forest on Saturday and they suspected that there might be another injured one.
Forest officials have been treating another injured elephant, rescued from the accident site. But the condition of the injured elephant is deteriorating gradually.
Rain disrupted search operations twice in the deep forest today. Forest officials started searching for injured elephants since yesterday with the help of two trained elephants but they have not yet found any injured elephant in the forest today.
The divisional forest officer, Mr Bidyut Sarkar said the department has not yet found any other elephant that had suffered train-hit injures.
“The search operation will be continued tomorrow to make sure there aren’t any more injured elephants suffering from pain in the jungle without medical treatment,” Mr Sarkar said.
The herd that met with the accident on 30 May has entered Moraghat forest. The herd was staying in the Rethi forest area yesterday. Over seven elephant calves including a 15-day old calf are members of the herd.
The honourary wildlife warden, Ms Seema Choudhury, said: “There wasn’t sufficient space beside the railway tracks, where the accident took place, where the elephants could have stayed before crossing the tracks. The railway track was in highland and elephants face difficulties in crossing it. As a result, a few members of the herd could not manage to escape when they were crossing the track through their own corridor in Moraghat range.”