Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Elephant Hero

Image Via Retronaut

The bull Elephant waited on the railway tracks for a face off with a Train on that fateful day of 1894 in Teluk Anson.(now Teluk Intan)

A lot of stories abound about what prompted the sad suicidal episode of the elephant and the train.

Some say it had a score to settle with the 'Iron Beast'. Rumour has it that it was seeking vengeance for a calf killed earlier by the same train. While others claimed that it was merely defending its herd from the ' new enemy' that has encroached into their domain.

Railway connecting Teluk Anson to Tapah , Ipoh was completed in 1893 and its daily rumbling through the jungle had threatened the habitat of the gentle giants. So it was pay back time. Presumably!

The British Engine Driver could not do anything because it had stood defiantly on the railway tracks and refused to budge in spite of the loud whistling and hooting as the train thundered and hurtled towards it . The beast was really huge and taller than the 'Iron Horse' and it collided with it head on at 50 mph (100km).

The impact derailed the engine and 3 coaches. Passengers mostly Chinese Towkays and Business men returning to Kuala Lumpur after visits to Tin Mines in the Kinta Valley.

Many were hurt in the twisted wreck and 2 Indian workers died of injuries sustained in the accident.The Elephant was killed instantaneously.

The then British Govt. erected a memorial to commemorate the heroic last stand of the gallant Elephant. {Read on}