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Speeding train kills four elephants in eastern India
by Staff Writers
Kolkata, India (AFP) May 30, 2013


Crocodile eats Indonesian, head found in river
Kupang, Indonesia (AFP) May 30, 2013 - A crocodile devoured a man as he fished in an eastern Indonesian river but left his head floating in the water where it was discovered by his distraught family, police said Thursday.

Sam Sem Ledo, a father of 11, set off on Tuesday to go fishing for crabs in the Amabi river in Kupang district on Timor island.

But the 53-year-old had not returned home by the following day, so several of his family members accompanied by police began searching for him.

At first they spotted a basket of crabs, his fishing gear and flip-flops -- but then came face to face with his head floating in an estuary, said local detective Bonifasius Rumbewas.

"We were able to identify him because of the head," added local police chief Mochammad Slamet, who said that other body parts, including intestines, were also found in the water.

Police did not say which of the man's family members were involved in the search

Slamet said Ledo had been killed by a saltwater crocodile, and that the area was infested with them.

In the past year and a half, at least five people had been killed by crocodiles in the district, added Slamet.

He urged people "to be aware that they are living near a crocodile habitat and take extra care".

The huge Indonesian archipelago is home to a vast array of exotic wildlife, including several species of crocodile.

A speeding passenger train Thursday killed four elephants in eastern India after the driver failed to see them in time, a state government minister said.

The express train rammed into the animals near the forests of Marghat in West Bengal state, some 620 kilometres (385 miles) north of the state capital Kolkata, forest minister Hiten Barman said.

"Four full-grown elephants were crushed to death before dawn on Thursday. The train knocked down the elephants due to negligence of the driver," Barman told AFP.

Train accidents involving elephants are frequently reported from across the country with the most recent incident in March resulting in the death of one near Buxa nature reserve, also in West Bengal state.

In December last year, five elephants were killed in a train accident in neighbouring Orissa state.

"Train accidents of this sort have of late become a concern in the northern districts of West Bengal," Barman said, adding that according to official figures at least 42 elephants had been killed in the state since 2004.

India's former rail minister Pawan Kumar Bansal stressed the need to protect the elephants from trains, describing the animals as "gentle giants" whose lives must be safeguarded, during a speech in March.

The country is home to around 25,000 Asian elephants but their numbers are dwindling mainly due to poaching and the destruction of their habitats by human populations.

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