My response (published in the current Outlook) to the article “No More Trunk Calls” , on the massive ‘rescue’ effort to revive an elephant hit by a train near Lalkuan..

it was fatally hit, the article is basically on the treatment being given, the money spent to help save the elephant..
but hadn’t the state scripted its obit by giving away the Gola river corridor..signing off the elephant’s right of passage?

It is all very well for the Uttarakhand government and the state forest department to pour money and shed crocodile tears over the fatally injured elephant (No More Trunk Calls, November 15, 2010) when they have refused–inspite of massive efforts by the central government– to acknowledge and conserve that particular area as a crucial elephant and tiger corridor. The Dehradun-based Wildlife Institute of India has identified the region as the Gola river corridor, but the state forest department has failed to conserve it, and willfully given away parcels of forest to myriad agencies. The Gola river corridor now has a railway line, highway, a railway sleeper factory, ITBP campus etc, blocking animal movement. Little wonder the elephant was forced to walk along the railway line..and was doomed.

Here is hoping that this fatal accident will be a wake-up call, to preserve this, and other, ancient migratory paths of our National Heritage Animal.