The fact that elephants never forget and hold a grudge against their abuser(s) when one them is injured has been proven many times, both anecdotally as well as by the results of a formal study of African elephants who reacted negatively to the scent of Masai clothing because the young tribesmen often spear them to demonstrate their bravery. Now a herd of Indian elephants is showing that they are no slouches either, when it comes to revenge!
The ongoing saga began about a week ago, when an elephant was accidently struck and killed by a train near the village of Matari in Eastern India. Though unfortunate, both villagers and railway officials dismissed it as unavoidable and continued on with their lives. But the mighty mammals were not going to allow the humans to get away with the death of their friend that easily.
The day following the accident, 15 elephants appeared at the railway tracks to mourn their friend and have since refused to move, resulting in a complete halt of all train traffic through the region.
In addition, they have been showing their anger toward the local people by destroying structures around the area. So far, the herd has trampled over ten homes and a school.
Desperate to get the situation under control, forestry officials even tried calling in expert elephant chasers to shoo away the giant mammals with the help of fireworks.
But it seems nothing is going to scare these vigilantes who are refusing to budge. Experts believe that they will leave in due time after completing the 'death ceremony' - A little understood ritual that the mammals perform even when an elephant dies from natural causes.
The good news is that their defiance and visible anger has finally compelled officials to ask train drivers to be cautious when passing through rural areas where elephants still roam around freely. Experts estimate that since 2010, 50 elephants throughout the country have met with similar fates thanks to careless railway drivers.