Source AP ©

Train kills elephant in India

A wild elephant was killed by a train while trying to cross railroad tracks in eastern India, officials said Wednesday.

The adult male was heading toward the Pushti forest Tuesday when it was hit by the freight train as it rounded a curve, said K. Balmurugan, a local forest officer.

The forests are some 200 kilometers (125 miles) north of Calcutta, the capital of West Bengal state.

"It appeared the tusker died following severe injury on its backbone caused by the hit," said Animesh Mondal , the regional veterinary surgeon.

India - with 10,000 to 15,000 elephants - has the largest pachyderm population in Asia, but numbers are declining because of loss of habitat and poaching.

Railways, which often run through wild like sanctuaries, have killed dozens of elephants in recent years.