The dead elephant calf (left) and the carcass of its mother being taken away by a crane.
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Siliguri: A mother elephant today tried waging a revenge on a passenger train in north Bengal after it knocked dead its calf but she too got killed by the train in the process.

The incident has taken place at Debpara area of Diana tea estate at Banarhat in Jalpaiguri district on the Siliguri-Alipurduar railway route, notorious for the frequent killing of wild elephants by trains.

Eyewitnesses said that the mother elephant was crossing over from one side of the tea garden to the other side around 7.45 in the morning when the Siliguri-Dhubri Intercity Express hit the calf. It was flung onto a sloppy area by the railway track.

The mother was a little behind the calf. Outraged over this, she started chasing the speeding train and jumped on the rail track in front of the engine. It was then that the speeding train hit her as well and she too was flung to a low lying area by the tracks.

After killing both the mother and the calf elephants, the train came to a halt. The passengers got down to check on the elephants and so did the workers from the tea garden. Both of them were dead by the with their eyes wide open.

On being informed, a team from Banarhat police station came. Also arrived a team from the Binnaguri Wildlife Squad. The carcasses were taken away using a crane for the customary post-mortem before the elephants can be cremated deep into the jungle.

On most occasions, wild elephants get killed by trains in the dusk and the railways offer the excuse of poor visibility. But the broad day killing of the two elephants by a train today has pointed out the recklessness with which trains are driven on the Siliguri-Alipurduar route that mostly passes through reserve forests.