Human-elephant conflict kills 28 pachyderms in 5yrs...

Dhaka, Thursday   20 January 2022

Human-elephant conflict kills 28 pachyderms in 5yrs

 HM Faridul Alam Shaheen, Cox’s Bazar

 Published: 05:42 PM, 23 November 2021  

28 elephants died in five years in Cox’s Bazar; Photo: Daily Bangladesh

28 elephants died in five years in Cox’s Bazar; Photo: Daily Bangladesh

Three wild elephants were killed within a week in the forests of Cox’s Bazar. Environmental organizations have expressed their concern over the deaths of elephants one after another. Although these organizations alleged that these elephants are being killed by “electric shock” and “shooting”, the Forest Department said “the elephants died due to natural cause”.  

It was alleged that at least 18 elephants have died in such a way in the region in the last one year. The Forest Department, on the other hand, said “28 elephants died in the last five years”. In the last 15 days, eight elephant carcasses have been found in different parts of the country. These elephant carcasses are now being found at Eidgaon, Chakaria, Teknaf, Ukhiya and Ramu in Cox’s Bazar Sadar. 

Meanwhile, a carcass of an elephant was found in the morning of November 21 at the Klibba area near Satghariapara of Gazalia in Islamabad UP of Eidgaon upazila in Cox’s Bazar. It is alleged that the elephant died after being caught in an “electric trap”. Another carcass of an elephant buried in the ground was recovered at Chakaria Harbang in Cox’s Bazar last Saturday. 

According to the Forest Department and environmental organizations, the elephant habitat in Cox’s Bazar has been destroyed and the corridor has been blocked. Besides, wild elephants are dying due to food crises and human cruelty. The conflict has been created between elephants and humans as those elephants have left their homes and attacked the locals.

It is learned that two-thirds of the 268 endangered Asian elephants live in the Cox’s Bazar and the Chittagong Hill Tracts, however, the safe habitat of elephants was destroyed due to the construction of railway line and the Rohingya settlement near Cox’s Bazar and the surrounding forests, various projects and illegal infrastructures.

Elephant herds are getting smaller due to horrible death trap

Cox's Bazar Forest and Environment Protection Council president Deepak Sharma Dipu said the critically endangered Asian elephants were electrocuted and shot dead. The government must take effective steps to protect these elephants.

Ibrahim Khalil Mamun, CEO of the Youth Environment Society, an environmental organization in Cox’s Bazar, said about 20,000 acres of forest had been occupied in the last five years due to Rohingya settlements in three upazilas, the creation of government institutions and various other reasons, as a result, the elephant habitat has been destroyed. 

Cox’s Bazar North Divisional Forest Officer Md. Anwar Hossain said various steps are being taken including increasing the corridors and habitats of elephants besides creating awareness to reduce the distance of elephants from humans. The locals are being taught the technique of chasing elephants by blowing flutes, horns and firecrackers so that they cannot hard the elephants.