June 20, Colombo: Sri Lanka Railways and the Wildlife Department have jointly started a probe on the deaths of three wild elephants caused by a speeding train on June 18.
The investigators are probing to verify whether the special Poson service power set train plying from Anuradhapura to Colombo was speeding or whether the place of the accident was a regular elephant path.
Director General of Wildlife Conservation Department Dr. Chandrawansa Pathiraja said that steps have been taken to build safety fences near the elephant passes and to clear the sides of the rail tracks so the engine drivers could see the elephants.
All three elephants including a baby elephant killed in the accident were reportedly females and one of them was pregnant.
The human-elephant conflict is escalating in Sri Lanka as elephant habitat is dwindling due to development and elephants are invading villages in search of food.