India passenger train hits, kills 2 endangered Asian elephants

Two endangered Asian elephants have been hit and killed by a passenger train near the city of Gauhati in northeastern India.

Wildlife warden Prodipta Baruah says the elephants were part of a herd of about 15 that had ventured into the area in search of food before dawn Sunday.

Indian villagers look the carcass of two endangered Asian elephants that were hit and killed by a passenger train near a railway track in Thakur Kuchi village on the outskirts of Gauhati, Assam state, India, Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017. Wildlife warden Prodipta Baruah says the elephants were part of a herd of about 15 that had ventured into the area in search of food before dawn Sunday. (AP Photo/Anupam Nath)

Indian villagers look the carcass of two endangered Asian elephants that were hit and killed by a passenger train near a railway track in Thakur Kuchi village on the outskirts of Gauhati, Assam state, India, Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017.  (AP Photo/Anupam Nath)

He says the other elephants crossed the track and the final two were attempting to cross when the train struck them.

Indian villagers look the carcass of two endangered Asian elephants that were hit and killed by a passenger train near a railway track in Thakur Kuchi village on the outskirts of Gauhati, Assam state, India, Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017. Wildlife warden Prodipta Baruah says the elephants were part of a herd of about 15 that had ventured into the area in search of food before dawn Sunday. (AP Photo/Anupam Nath)

Indian villagers look the carcass of two endangered Asian elephants that were hit and killed by a passenger train near a railway track in Thakur Kuchi village on the outskirts of Gauhati, Assam state, India, Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017.  (AP Photo/Anupam Nath)

Wildlife workers and veterinarians arrived to perform autopsies on the elephants before burying them in nearby pits.

A passenger train passes as Indian vets measure the carcass of two endangered Asian elephants that were hit and killed by a passenger train near a railway track in Thakur Kuchi village on the outskirts of Gauhati, Assam state, India, Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017. Wildlife warden Prodipta Baruah says the elephants were part of a herd of about 15 that had ventured into the area in search of food before dawn Sunday. (AP Photo/Anupam Nath)

A passenger train passes as Indian vets measure the carcass of two endangered Asian elephants that were hit and killed by a passenger train near a railway track in Thakur Kuchi village on the outskirts of Gauhati, Assam state, India, Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017.  (AP Photo/Anupam Nath)

Gauhati is in Assam state, which is home to several thousand wild Asian elephants. The animals are revered in Asia but are considered endangered due to habitat loss and poaching.

An excavator digs soil to bury the carcass of two endangered Asian elephants that were hit and killed by a passenger train near a railway track in Thakur Kuchi village on the outskirts of Gauhati, Assam state, India, Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017. Wildlife warden Prodipta Baruah says the elephants were part of a herd of about 15 that had ventured into the area in search of food before dawn Sunday. (AP Photo/Anupam Nath)

An excavator digs soil to bury the carcass of two endangered Asian elephants that were hit and killed by a passenger train near a railway track in Thakur Kuchi village on the outskirts of Gauhati, Assam state, India, Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017.  (AP Photo/Anupam Nath)

Roaming elephants in the region are struck by trains fairly regularly.

An Indian woman offers flowers on the carcass of one among two endangered Asian elephants that were hit and killed by a passenger train near a railway track in Thakur Kuchi village on the outskirts of Gauhati, Assam state, India, Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017. Wildlife warden Prodipta Baruah says the elephants were part of a herd of about 15 that had ventured into the area in search of food before dawn Sunday. (AP Photo/Anupam Nath)

An Indian woman offers flowers on the carcass of one among two endangered Asian elephants that were hit and killed by a passenger train near a railway track in Thakur Kuchi village on the outskirts of Gauhati, Assam state, India, Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017.  (AP Photo/Anupam Nath)