A tragic incident occurred in Uttarakhand, where a mother elephant and her calf were involved in a train accident. The speeding train struck the mother elephant, causing her immediate death, while the baby elephant was thrown from the tracks and survived with injuries. The calf, now named “Bani,” meaning Mother Earth, suffered spinal and hip injuries but miraculously survived the ordeal. Wildlife authorities and Wildlife SOS provided immediate medical attention to Bani before transferring her to an Elephant Hospital in Mathura for critical care.
The collision took place near Corbett National Park, highlighting the ongoing conflict between trains and wildlife. Despite the mother’s tragic demise, forest officials rescued the orphaned calf from a nearby field. Dr. Ilayaraja S, Deputy Director of Veterinary Services at Wildlife SOS, stated that although Bani had an infected wound in her groin area, her progress is promising, showing movement in her legs and positive responses to treatment.
Kartick Satyanarayan, Co-founder and CEO of Wildlife SOS, expressed gratitude to wildlife authorities for facilitating Bani’s transfer to the Elephant Hospital, emphasizing the importance of providing top-notch veterinary care for her recovery. Geeta Seshamani, Co-founder and Secretary of Wildlife SOS, urged railways to implement speed reductions in wildlife corridors nationwide to prevent such tragedies and proposed using advanced technology to detect and alert trains of wildlife crossings.
Baiju Raj M.V, Director of Conservation Projects at Wildlife SOS, explained the daily care routine for Bani, including cleaning, massages, wound dressing, and therapeutic exercises to aid her recovery. The incident underscores the need for preventive measures against train collisions with elephants, prompting Wildlife SOS to advocate for mitigation measures through a petition.