Train rams into Sri Lankan elephants

15:35, June 18, 2011      

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Three elephants were killed in Sri Lanka Saturday when a speeding train rammed into a herd crossing a railway track, wildlife officials said.

A baby elephant and two female elephants were thrown several meters away following the impact of the train and were killed instantaneously in the town of Galgamuwa.

Officials told Xinhua that some railway track run across village areas in Sri Lanka where elephants often roam resulting in frequent accidents between trains and elephants.

In the latest incident the elephants were crossing the railway track after coming out of a section of a forest reserve when the accident took place.

Sri Lanka's elephants are protected under the Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance of Sri Lanka, and killing them carries the death penalty.

The World Wildlife Fund says as a result of forest clearing in Sri Lanka, human-elephant conflicts have increased and led to the death of both humans and elephants, and the destruction of property.

According to the World Wildlife Fund, the elephant population has decreased dramatically during the past century.

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