By the skin of its trunk! Elephants miss a train by inches as they cross railway tracks in an Indian forest
- Images show dangers elephants in Indian forest face after train lines were built
- Dozens of elephants are killed every year after being hit by speeding trains
- Photographer Rupak Dastidar said: ‘The train track has turned out to be a graveyard for wild elephants with more than 90 of them being killed’
These startling images show an elephant escaping being hit by a train by a whisker – as it crosses the tracks perilously close to an oncoming train.
The image, taken by wildlife photographer Rupak Dastidar, shows the danger elephants in the Indian forest face after a train line was built that cuts straight through the forest.
Dozens of elephants are killed every year after being hit by trains – which resulted in a speed limit being introduced for trains in a bid to save lives of elephants.
Pictured: An elephant crosses the train tracks in an Indian forest just moments after a train rushed along
Pictured: A group of elephants in the Indian forest congregate around the tracks as the train approaches
Pictured: An elephant calf follows its mother over the tracks in an Indian forest
Rupak, 29, said: ‘The train track has turned out to be a graveyard for wild elephants with more than 90 of them being killed since the conversion took place.
‘The tracks pass through a few national parks, wildlife sanctuaries and reserved forests having numerous corridors of wild animals like Indian Elephant and Indian Gaur.
‘The frequency of accidents along the routes of Alipurduar and New jalpaiguri prompted forest officials and railways try and come up with solution, cutting speeds of trains to 50 kmph during the day and just 25kmph at night.
The images show the danger elephants in the Indian forest face after a train line was built that cuts straight through the forest
Pictured: An adult elephant prepares to cross the track in an Indian forest. 90 elephants have been killed since this train track was built
Pictured: An adult elephant prepares to cross the track in an Indian forest. The new train tracks have been built to pass through national parks and reserved forests
‘The number of elephant deaths and injuries came down later that year, but despite the restriction trains continue to kill elephants.
‘This photo illustrates the danger they face in their own homes.’
Two elephants were hit and killed by a passenger train at the end of last year in eastern India, officials said, with the animals’ bodies decorated with flowers before being cremated at the spot.
In the past five years, at least 26 elephants have been killed and scores more injured by trains on the stretch of track near the Nepal border, according to wildlife officials.