A speeding truck hit two elephants near the Mahamaya flyover in Noida around 5.30am on Friday, killing a 45-year-old female animal and seriously injuring another. Both elephants lay on the road for nearly four hours, causing a huge early-morning traffic gridlock on the busy stretch.
The elephants were finally lifted with cranes and the road cleared for traffic. The injured animal, still in a state of shock, is being treated. Police said the truck was speeding when the driver lost control and hit the two elephants, travelling from Dadri to Wazirabad in Delhi. The truck driver escaped leaving the vehicle behind.
The two mahouts riding the elephants also fell off as the animals came under the wheels of the rogue truck. The mahouts were taken to the district hospital in Noida for treatment by police, who reached the spot on receiving information about the accident from a patrolling PCR.
"We were walking on the side of the road and suddenly without warning a truck hit us with great impact and we were all thrown on the road," said mahout Mukut Kumar.
"When the accident occurred, the elephant named Roopkali, which was killed, fell on its side along with the mahout who was riding on her," said an auto driver, Upender, who was passing by. "We thought the mahout would be killed, but when he was pulled out he was alive, although injured and shaken."
Police called in a veterinary doctor who declared one of the elephants dead. Vets from the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals were also called to the spot to provide medical aid to the injured 30-year old Chanchal.
"Since the Wildlife Trust of India is the organization which handles such emergencies, we provided the injured elephant with first aid and iced her wounds to give her relief," said Dr Preeti from SPCA, Noida. "We also informed WTI, who soon sent their team of doctors to monitor Chanchal's condition."
The WTI doctors, who arrived at the spot at about 9.30am, gave the elephant antibiotics and kept it under observation. It will be transported in a truck to its residence in Wazirabad on Saturday morning.
"The elephant had multiple lacerations and was bruised all over. Also, its right hind leg was badly injured and the animal was in extreme pain. "We have given it painkillers and are going to keep it under observation for 24 hours," said Dr Shanaz Amin from WTI.
The body of the other elephant was taken for an autopsy and the carcass thereafter buried, police said.
Meanwhile, police have arrested the three owners of the elephants, Zaheer, Iqbal and Farooq (who is also the elephant association president) under the wildlife Act.The UN affiliated OIPA in India media adviser Abhishek Kadyan and PFA Haryana director events Sukanya Kadyan demands IPC 120-B also be imposed and the Chief Wild Life Warden of Delhi be arrested for criminal conspiracy against the National heritage animal of India, promoter of this elephant murder as well: Who abused them for pride, we further demands immediate rescue of all captive elephants and introduction of the rules and regulations for the heritage animal of India.