Indian Railway Uses Bee and Tiger Sounds to Deter Elephants
Several weeks ago a train ran over three wild elephants that had found their way onto the tracks.
Meanwhile, Indian Railways has installed a solar-powered audio warning system near the Walayar railway station to deter any other elephants from getting killed on the tracks.
The sound from the audio system can be heard up to half a kilometer away and blasts out the sounds of buzzing bees and growling tigers, both of which elephants fear.
Authorities put the device at Track B, which is near the forest and about 800 meters away from the Walayar railway station.
This is not the only place in India where these measures have been taken to save the lives of elephants. Similar devices were installed in Guwahati and Rishikesh along with other areas.
In this unrelated 1:03-minute video by PIB India, we see how elephants and trains can meet by accident with devastating consequences.
This is an upgraded device based on GSM technology. If there is any elephant movement near the track, the station master need only send an SMS to the device, and it will be triggered to start playing the buzzing and growling noises.
The sad recent tragedy involved the death of a mother elephant with her two calves on November 26, 2021. They were killed while crossing Track A when they were hit by the approaching Mangaluru-Chennai express train.
Subsequently, steps are being taken to install some solar-powered lights and fences in a greater effort to block the entrance of the tracks to elephants.
We blogged a while back about how elephants in certain African countries are afraid of bees, so local farmers use bees to deter elephants from entering their fields and destroying their crops. You can read those two blog posts here and here.
Here is another 2:09-minute video by IndiaTV that was taken in a different part of India:
Bee buzzing is a useful deterrent against elephants wandering in areas that are off limits to them, so no harm is caused. In these cases, the very sounds that the elephants fear can help to save their lives.
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