Sept 28, Colombo: The Department of Wildlife reported that six (06) wild elephants have died in two separate accidents when two herds of elephants collided with trains in the areas of Galgamuwa and Palu Gaswewa yesterday (28th) night.
Four elephants were killed when the night mail train running from Colombo Fort to Kankasanthurai collided with a herd of wild elephants in the teak forest area near Galgamuwa city.
Two other elephants died when a herd of wild elephants collided with the Meenagaya train running from Colombo Fort to Polonnaruwa in the area between Kekirawa and Palugaswewa.
Of the four wild elephants that died in the accident in Galgamuwa area, three were under 10 years of age and one animal was between 12 and 13 years of age, according to Isuru Hewa Kottegoda, a veterinarian at Nikaweratiya Wildlife Office.
After the accident, the train was stopped for over an hour at the spot as one elephant got stuck between the engine and a compartment. Later, the train passengers and the Galgamuwa police removed the animal and the train resumed its journey.
The Ritigala Wildlife Office states that both the elephants died in the train accident in Palu Gaswewa area were between 15 and 20 years old.
The Galgamuwa Police and the Nikaweratiya Wildlife Office are jointly conducting the investigation on the Galgamuwa accident, while the Ritigala Wildlife Office and the Habarana Police are conducting the investigation on the Palu Gaswewa train accident.