A 25-year-old wild tusker was killed after it was hit by a passenger train around 7.15am on Sunday. This is the seventh elephant ran over by a train on Kanjikode- Walayar rail stretch this year.
According to Palakkad divisional forest officer (DFO) K Karthikeyan, three wild elephants were crossing the ‘B’ railway line when the Palakkad Town-Trichy passenger train was passing through the stretch. “Though the loco pilot applied break, the train hit one of the elephants killing it on the spot. The other elephants escaped unhurt,” he said.
He pointed out that the incident took place in an area protected with electric fence. “Despite the fence put up by forest and railway authorities, the elephants broke it open and entered the ‘B’ track,” he said.
The train movement that was disrupted following the mishap resumed in the afternoon. A total of 13 wild elephants have been killed on the stretch in the past 10 years.
The DFO said that the government has given administrative sanction for allotting Rs 8 crore to construct a new fence in Walayar forest, to prevent similar accidents. The fence would be constructed using parts of old rail track parts as the electric, solar fencing were not effective in keeping away the elephants.
District animal husbandry officer Dr Venugopalan Nair conducted the postmortem of the tusker and the carcass was cremated inside the forest, the DFO said.
Earlier in July, a wild elephant was hit by a speeding Kollam-Vishakhapattanam special train near Walayar railway station. Barely two weeks before the mishap, a female elephant was killed in a train collision between Walayar and Madukkara forests.