Sensitisation programme to prevent elephant deaths on Coimbatore railway tracks
COIMBATORE: Blowing of horn intermittently at curves will help in distracting elephants in the vicinity while building obstructions on their path is not necessarily an effective solution to prevent deaths of jumbos on railway tracks, a senior veterinary officer of Coimbatore said today.
The pachyderms have the unique behavioural manner of sticking to a set pattern of movement and show extreme reluctance to deviate from it, even in unfavourable conditions, Coimbatore Wildlife Veterinary Officer, N S Manohar said at a sensitization programme for train loco staff at nearby Palakkad in Kerala.
The wild elephants usually respond to a continuous and uniform message and gradually become familiar with such signals or messages, he said.
The programme, in which 25 train running staff attended, was organised considering the casualties of wild elephants on the railway track between Walayar and Ettimadai stations in Palakkad-Coimbatore section, an official release said.
Speaking about the behaviour, features and movement pattern of wild elephants, Manohar asked the loco pilots to bear in mind that they were entering the territory of wildlife and as such, the need for protecting them was to be given priority.
Clearing of vegetation and overgrowth from the sides of Railway track would enable loco pilots to spot the pachyderms, early.
Regular and systematic patrolling round the clock is projected as another viable remedial measure, Manohar said.
Palakkad Divisional Railway Manager Naresh Lalwani said protection of wildlife was invariably the responsibility of every citizen and expressed satisfaction in the prompt exchange of messages on presence of wild elephants near tracks enabling Loco Pilots to regulate the train speed.