Bani is an orphan. In the tragic and preventable incident, a mother elephant and baby Bani were hit by a speeding train when they were crossing the tracks in northern India. The mother died from the impact and the baby was left paralyzed and traumatised. Critically injuried, Bani was left behind by the panicking herd.
It's tempting to call this an unfortunate accident, but in reality, 186 elephants have died on India's train tracks since 2009. If Indian Railways prevented trains from speeding through wildlife corridors or utilised AI early warning technology, this mother elephant would be alive today and baby Bani wouldn’t have life-threatening injuries.
Railways must immediately reduce train speeds in wildlife corridors so elephants have a chance to get out of the way. Advancements in technology exist that can now detect and alert trains of elephants near train tracks, but these technologies are not being widely used.
At just 9 months old, the orphaned Bani is critically injured and in the fight for her life at the Wildlife SOS Elephant Hospital. We don't yet know if she'll recover, but we won't give up on her.
In Bani’s name and honour, please take action and implore Indian Railways to implement measures to protect this iconic species by reducing the speed of their trains and utilising the latest technology to prevent collisions in elephant corridors.