Bengaluru, IndiaConservation scientist Aritra Kshettry had just begun his fieldwork studying the shared spaces between people and wildlife in India when he witnessed the aftermath of a gruesome interaction.
The Chapramari Forest lies in the eastern area of India, near the country’s border with Bhutan. Much of the vegetation here dries up in the winter. But a large herd of elephants found still-green grasses along the railway line that crosses through the forest. As the elephants foraged near and on the tracks at dusk, a passenger train traveling at 50 mph tried to brake but barreled into the herd. Five adults and two calves were killed, and 10 elephants were injured.
Kshettry visited the accident site early the next morning. “It appeared they