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New Delhi:

More than 32,000 animals, including cattle, lions and leopards, have been killed on railway tracks in the past three years, according to data provided by the railways, reports PTI.

This year until June 20th, a total of 3,479 animals were run down by trains. In the last 4 years 65 elephants were also killed after being run over by trains, suggests the data.

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There is also a steep increase in the number of animals killed in the last 4 years. While it was 7,945 animals mowed down by the trains in 2016, the number increased to 11,683 in 2017 and 12,625 in 2018.

A senior railway official acknowledged the problem and said that the issue is a cause of concern. He added that the number of train accidents were reducing however animal deaths on tracks were increasing.

Trains are also bearing the brunt of cattle run over cases. Earlier this year, newly launched Vande Bharat Express, was hit by stray cattle and its aerodynamic nose, which is made of steel with a fibre cover on it, had to be replaced.

The railways is now planning to fence off tracks that are around open areas such as fields to avoid these incidents.

Railways security personnel are also sensitising farmers to keep their cattle off the tracks, but that doesn’t seem to be working.

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