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Train mows down tusker in Bengal

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An adult male elephant was Friday mowed down by a train in West Bengal's Darjeeling district, a forest official said. The incident comes a day after a jumbo with its head chopped off was found also in the same district.

The incident happened in Mongpong, located on the fringe of Mahananda Wildlife Sanctuary, when the Siliguri-Alipurduar Express hit the jumbo.

"The incident happened Friday morning. There is a need to further restrict the speed limit of the trains on the Siliguri-Alipurduar stretch. We are discussing on lowering the speed limit to below 25 km," said Chief Wildlife Warden N.C.Bahuguna.

Since 2004, when the tracks on the 163-km long Siliguri-Alipurduar route were converted to broad gauge, speeding trains have mowed nearly 40 elephants.

Following the spate of mowing down incidents, in 2010 the speed of the trains was been restricted to 50 km.

The railway lines on the stretch pass through five forests - Buxa, Jaldapara, Gorumara, Chapramari and Mahananda.

Forest officials Thursday found the carcass of an elephant with its head chopped off at the outskirts of Neora Valley National Park in Kalimpong subdivision.

Poachers are suspected to be behind the killing.

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