India passenger train hits and kills 2 Asian elephants

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 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)
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. 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. 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. 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 passengers on a running train look at 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)

GAUHATI, India — Two endangered Asian elephants were hit and killed Sunday by a passenger train near the city of Gauhati in northeastern India.

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

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

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

There was no major damage to the train and no passengers were injured.

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.

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

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