Around 15 elephants, who are mourning a member of their herd after it was was hit by a train near Matari railway station under Dhanbad division of the East Central Railway on Howrah-New Delhi main railway route a couple of days ago, have attacked villages and demolished parts of a school and several houses. Villagers have been keeping night-long vigil, but haven’t been to drive away the herd.
Wildlife activist D S Srivastava said elephants have a strong sense of family bonding and often resort to revenge attacks. He said: “Elephants often try to return to the site of such accidents as they believe that their mate has only been injured and could be rescued by them. Even when an elephant dies a natural death, their friends cover the body with bushes and small tree branches.” Srivastava added that the herd will try to return to this site again and again.
Railway authorities are also concerned and are maintaining a vigil on tracks. “Train drivers have also been asked to be more careful,” said Amrendra Das spokesperson for Dhanbad division.