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An elephant calf aged around seven months was killed after being hit by a speeding train in Assam’s Jorhat district in the wee hours of December 17, an official said.

With Friday’s incident, five elephants have been killed this year so far after being mowed down by train in Assam.

Forest officials said that at around 3.30 am, the male elephant was knocked down by the New Delhi-Dibrugarh Rajdhani Express while it was trying to cross the tracks at Bhelaguri under the Mariani forest range. The calf died on the spot, 3 km from the Gibbon Wildlife Sanctuary.

A post-mortem has been conducted and other formalities are being carried out.

The calf died six days after a pregnant elephant and a male calf died of suspected poisoning in Assam’s Karbi Anglong district.

The official said that 71 elephants have died in Assam due to various causes so far this year.

He said that while three wild jumbos died due to poisoning, 18 others died due to lightning, 24 died of natural causes, 17 due to unknown reasons, five in train accidents, three due to electrocution, while one succumbed to death due to injury.

According to official records, over 91 jumbos have been electrocuted in Assam between 2011 and 2019.

In May, 18 jumbos were killed by a lightning strike in Nagaon district.

Assam has the second largest jumbo population in India after Karnataka, according to the last census conducted in 2017.

However, due to deforestation and fodder crisis, human-elephant conflict is rising in Assam.

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