Saturday, August 04, 2018

10 kg Of Elephant Tusks Seized In West Bengal, Two Arrested



KOLKATA: Six pieces of ivory, weighing about 10 kg, were seized from two people arrested in West Bengal, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence said in a statement today. The pair was caught near the Tenzing Norgey bus stand in Siliguri and six pieces of ivory collectively weighing 9.9 kg were recovered from them last night, it said.

"Preliminary analysis of the seized tusk indicates that the elephants have been poached very recently," the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence or DRI said.

During interrogation, the two men revealed that the ivory was smuggled from Nepal through Panitanki border.

This is the third seizure of elephant tusks by the DRI this year in north Bengal and Assam.

The DRI had seized 12.4 kg of ivory at Siliguri on February 15 and another 5.8 kg of ivory in Guwahati on May 26 this year.

It had also seized a number of live exotic birds of foreign-origin smuggled into India from Bangladesh in Kolkata.

In May, the DRI had seized two endangered Hoolock Gibbons and two endangered Palm Civets from Kolkata

The agency had also made a seizure of 214 Indian star tortoise in Kolkata in March this year.

Sections 48 and 49 of India's Wild Life Protection Act, 1972 prohibits trade or commerce of wild animals or animal articles or trophies.

Illegal import of wildlife which is in violation of the Wild Life Protection Act also automatically becomes a violation of the Customs Act.

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Rohingya refugees amid human-elephant conflict



Dhaka: Rohingya couple Yakub Ali and Anwara Begum survived the deadly military crackdowns in Myanmar's Rakhine State in October 2016 and August 2017 that left scores of their persecuted community brutally abused and murdered.

They crossed the border into Bangladesh from Maungdaw in October last year with two daughters and a son to find sanctuary at Kutupalong refugee camp in Cox's Bazar, which now shelters about 400,000 Rohingya.

But the family's dream of starting life all over again came crashing down on Jan. 19 when a wild elephant trampled 45-year-old Yakub to death and destroyed their makeshift tent.

"We were woken by the screaming of people nearby and, before we realized what was going on, a huge elephant smashed our tent. My husband died in the attack and I got injured while fleeing with the children," Anwara, 40, told ucanews.com.

Yakub was the sole breadwinner for the family as a day laborer for humanitarian groups supporting up to one million refugees huddled in overcrowded camps in Cox's Bazar.

"Now we are surviving completely on mercy relief from aid groups," Anwara said.

About 300,000 refugees were in the area before August 2016. The two crackdowns forced an exodus of more than 770,000 Rohingya to Bangladesh, according to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

The massive influx of Rohingya saw more than 1,200 hectares of forest land cleared for shelters for refugees in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh's most popular tourist destination thanks to the world's largest unbroken sea beach.

Cox's Bazar's Ukhiya and Teknaf subdistricts are known for lush green coastal forests and natural habitats for rare wildlife species including birds and Asian elephants. Ukhiya and Teknaf houses all the refugee camps and they cut through the crossing points and migration routes of elephants from Myanmar to Bangladesh and vice versa.

This human-elephant conflict has seen 13 refugees killed in elephant attacks since August last year, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Clearing of forests for human habitation has endangered wildlife in the area including elephants, according to Ali Kabir, divisional forest officer in Cox's Bazar.

"If you live in an elephant's habitat, the inevitable is not unexpected. Thousands of hectares have been cleared and refugees collect 800 metric tons of firewood from the forest every day. We fear that if deforestation continues at this rate there will be no more forest left out by the end of 2019," Kabir told ucanews.com.

Kabir said the cutting of trees must stop and refugee settlements that blocked traditional elephant migration corridors need to be relocated to keep refugees safe from elephant attacks and deaths.

The UNHCR and IUCN carried out a joint survey covering 70 square kilometers of Cox's Bazar. It revealed a traditional elephant migration route has been completely blocked due to new refugee settlements, and about 35-45 Asian elephants are living in the forest of the southern part of Cox's Bazar. There are about 93 migratory and 96 captive Asian elephants in Bangladesh, and they are critically endangered, according to the IUCN.

"Elephants always follow traditional path for migration, and the blocked crossing point was a bridge for them for movement between Rakhine and Cox's Bazar. Now, elephants are trying to find the lost corridor by entering camps from various sides, and casualties are taking place," IUCN country representative Raquibul Amin told ucanews.com.

The IUCN and UNHCR have formed 30 elephant response teams of 10-12 people in the camps. They are also setting up 92 elephant watchtowers, more response teams and training.

"We have set up 26 watchtowers and others are being constructed. We would like to form 46 teams and offer training to about 500 people," Amin said.

Two persons are on duty at the watchtowers at night and early morning, when elephants usually move, and they warn others when they spot an elephant. Then the team tries to make the elephant return to the forest.

Teams have successfully tackled seven elephant intrusions to the camps in recent months, Amin said.

"This is a temporary solution, and we are not sure how long this protection system can work. We need to work more on it and see if we can come up with a permanent solution," he added.

Panic among refugees over elephant attacks has reduced if not vanished, said James Gomes, regional director of Catholic charity Caritas Chittagong, which is active in refugee camps.

"Even one month ago, people had sleepless nights fearing elephant attacks. They had never faced such a threat and didn't know what to do. The situation is better but refugees are still vulnerable, and more work needs to be done to sort out an effective plan ," Gomes told ucanews.com.

Back at her reconstructed tent in Kutupalong, Anwara Begum says she can sleep well with her children now. "I am less frightened because I know there are guards watching over elephant movements," she said.

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Sunday, July 29, 2018

Elephant kills elderly man in Ctg

Chattogram, July 13 (UNB) – A wild elephant trampled an elderly man to death in Mohammedpur area of Anowara upazila on Friday morning.

The deceased was identified as Abdur Rahman, 70, of the area.

Dulal Hossain, officer-in-charge of Anowara Police Station, said the elephant attacked the elderly man at dawn while he was going to a nearby mosque to perform Fazr prayers.

Saddam Hossain, a member of Boirag Union Parishad, said wild elephants frequently get down from Deang Hill and damaged houses and crops in the area.

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10 kg Of Elephant Tusks Seized In West Bengal, Two Arrested

KOLKATA: Six pieces of ivory, weighing about 10 kg, were seized from two people arrested in West Bengal, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence said in a statement today. The pair was caught near the Tenzing Norgey bus stand in Siliguri and six pieces of ivory collectively weighing 9.9 kg were recovered from them last night, it said.
"Preliminary analysis of the seized tusk indicates that the elephants have been poached very recently," the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence or DRI said.

During interrogation, the two men revealed that the ivory was smuggled from Nepal through Panitanki border.

This is the third seizure of elephant tusks by the DRI this year in north Bengal and Assam.

The DRI had seized 12.4 kg of ivory at Siliguri on February 15 and another 5.8 kg of ivory in Guwahati on May 26 this year.

It had also seized a number of live exotic birds of foreign-origin smuggled into India from Bangladesh in Kolkata.


In May, the DRI had seized two endangered Hoolock Gibbons and two endangered Palm Civets from Kolkata

The agency had also made a seizure of 214 Indian star tortoise in Kolkata in March this year.

Sections 48 and 49 of India's Wild Life Protection Act, 1972 prohibits trade or commerce of wild animals or animal articles or trophies.

COMMENT
Illegal import of wildlife which is in violation of the Wild Life Protection Act also automatically becomes a violation of the Customs Act.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Elephant’s body recovered in Sherpur

Forest officials recovered the body of a male elephant from Gurucharan-Dudhnoi area in Jhenaigati upazila on Thursday.


Being informed by locals, a team of forest department recovered the body around 7am, said Md Ashraful Alam, beat officer of Tawakucha beat of Forest Department in Jhenaigati upazila.


The elephant, aged around 14/15 years, has tusks around one foot, he said.


"The exact reason behind its death could not be known immediately and there was no injury mark in its body," said the forest officer.


The elephant might have died due to indigestion as jackfruit seeds were found in its dung collected from the spot, he added.


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These women fight wildlife conflict in Bangladesh



Twenty-eight-year-old wildlife defenders Zenifar Azmiri and Sahrin Jahan have been woken up more than once in the middle of night.

Their camp in Cox’s Bazar, the largest refugee camp in Bangladesh bordering Myanmar, houses one million Rohingya refugees fleeing violence in Myanmar.

Last week, UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, visited Cox’s Bazar to draw attention to the plight of the Rohingya refugees and urge more support for Rohingya refugees.

Now the refugees face another challenge: up to 45 elephants pass through their camps, situated along the elephant migratory corridors, as they look for food and water.

“Elephants are very intelligent, and will always follow their traditional migratory corridors,” says Jahan. Since the refugee influx began in August 2017, at least 10 people have died in wildlife conflict, including a 12-year-old boy.

A joint United Nations High Commission for Refugees and the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) survey reveals that frequent elephant movement, mostly along the western boundary, is making refugees vulnerable to elephant invasions and attack.


To read the full article, click on the story title.

These women fight wildlife conflict in Bangladesh



Twenty-eight-year-old wildlife defenders Zenifar Azmiri and Sahrin Jahan have been woken up more than once in the middle of night.

Their camp in Cox’s Bazar, the largest refugee camp in Bangladesh bordering Myanmar, houses one million Rohingya refugees fleeing violence in Myanmar.

Last week, UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, visited Cox’s Bazar to draw attention to the plight of the Rohingya refugees and urge more support for Rohingya refugees.

Now the refugees face another challenge: up to 45 elephants pass through their camps, situated along the elephant migratory corridors, as they look for food and water.

“Elephants are very intelligent, and will always follow their traditional migratory corridors,” says Jahan. Since the refugee influx began in August 2017, at least 10 people have died in wildlife conflict, including a 12-year-old boy.

A joint United Nations High Commission for Refugees and the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) survey reveals that frequent elephant movement, mostly along the western boundary, is making refugees vulnerable to elephant invasions and attack.


To read the full article, click on the story title.

Elephant kills elderly man in Ctg



Chattogram, July 13 (UNB) – A wild elephant trampled an elderly man to death in Mohammedpur area of Anowara upazila on Friday morning.

The deceased was identified as Abdur Rahman, 70, of the area.

Dulal Hossain, officer-in-charge of Anowara Police Station, said the elephant attacked the elderly man at dawn while he was going to a nearby mosque to perform Fazr prayers.

Saddam Hossain, a member of Boirag Union Parishad, said wild elephants frequently get down from Deang Hill and damaged houses and crops in the area.


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Friday, July 06, 2018

Girl killed in Cox’s Bazar wild elephant attack



Cox’s Bazar, June 27 (UNB) - A minor girl was trampled to death by an elephant at Khutakhali area in Chakaria upazila on Wednesday afternoon.

The deceased was identified as Nur Jannat, 11, daughter of Bahadur Haque of Segunbagicha village of the upazila. She was a class four student of a local primary school.

Kutakhali Union Parishad Chairman Mowlana Abdur Rahman confirmed the death adding that the region is a hilly region and most of the people are day labourer there. Attack by wild elephant is a very common incident in the locality.

Eyewitness sources said Jannat and some of her friends went to the forest to bring cows home when a wild elephant attacked them at around 4:30pm, leaving her dead on the spot while others managed to escape the scene.

On information, family members along with the locals rushed in and recovered her body and took her to a private hospital where the doctor declared her dead, sources added.


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Elephant’s body recovered in Sherpur



Sherpur, July 5 (UNB) - Forest officials recovered the body of a male elephant from Gurucharan-Dudhnoi area in Jhenaigati upazila on Thursday.

Being informed by locals, a team of forest department recovered the body around 7am, said Md Ashraful Alam, beat officer of Tawakucha beat of Forest Department in Jhenaigati upazila.

The elephant, aged around 14/15 years, has tusks around one foot, he said.

“The exact reason behind its death could not be known immediately and there was no injury mark in its body,” said the forest officer.

The elephant might have died due to indigestion as jackfruit seeds were found in its dung collected from the spot, he added.


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Elephant tramples minor to death

A minor boy was trampled to death by an elephant at Gangarampur Bridge in Tala upazila yesterday. The deceased was identified as Riyad Hossain, 9, son of Hasan Gazi of the village. Mehedi Russell, officer-in-charge of Tala Police Station, said an elephant, which was tied to a pillar of a bridge. Riyad was among onlookers, observing the elephant.


At that point, the animal wrapped its trunk around the child, and trampled him to death around 8 am, said the OC.However, police could not arrest its mahout as he had managed to flee the scene.

Elephant tramples Satkhira minor An elephant trampled a minor boy to death at Gangarampur Bridge in Tala upazila yesterday.


The victim was identified as Riyad Hossain, 9, son of Hasan Gazi of Gangarampur village.Tala Police Station Officer-in Charge Mehedi Russell said Riyad with others were beholding the elephant, tied to a pillar of a bridge.


At that time, the elephant wrapped its trunk around Riyad, and trampled him to death around 8am, said the OC.
However, police could not arrest the elephant's mahout as he managed to flee the scene.


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Sunday, June 10, 2018

Wild elephant tramples minor boy to death



Sundergarh: In yet another incident of man-animal conflict in the state, a wild elephant trampled a five-year-old boy to death in Kokerema village under Hatibari police limits in the district last night.

The deceased has been identified as Rahul Badaika.

The victim was sleeping outside his house along with the family when the attack took place. A wild elephant which had sneaked into the village in search of food reached near the victim and crushed his head. He died on the spot.

However, rest of the family woke up hearing the screams of the victim and managed to save their lives.

Biramitrapur Forest Ranger reached the spot along with a team of officials this morning and took stock of the situation. He also announced of the compensation under the existing government provision for the victim family.

The incident has left people in a state of panic in the village as a herd of elephant has been seen roaming around the village for past few days.
 

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Wild elephant kills woman in Bandarban



BANDARBAN, June 4: A woman was killed in an attack by a wild elephant in Lama Upazila of the district on Saturday midnight.
The decease was identified as Sakera Begum Pakhi,45, a resident of Paglir Aga, a remote area under Fasiakhali union.
Pakhi's husband was killed in a similar attack by wild elephants 12 years ago.
Quoting local people, police said a wild elephant trampled Pakhi when she came out of her house responding to the call of nature.
Police recovered the body on Sunday morning.


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Friday, May 25, 2018

Rohingya refugees face the rage of displaced elephants



Nobody could have cared less if they were the size of a regular household bull – or at least they would have cared less – but they are not; they are elephants. Some weigh up to 5 tonnes but despite the enormous size, they are easily scared when they see something unusual. Nowadays, these magnificent mammals from the hills of Cox’s Bazar are being scared by the Rohingya camps.

Bangladesh was completely taken aback when the sudden influx began in August 2017.The Rohingya refuges did not care if there was any place for them to live or enough supplies to eat – scared to death, they just crossed the border to flee one of the most brutal ethnic cleansings in world history by the Myanmar government. They were everywhere – paddy fields, roadsides ditches; in fact, they filled up every empty space near the border.

It took the government in Bangladesh several months to recuperate and think of a solution. Around 80% of an official total of 700,000 of the refugees were sent to makeshift camps on the sides of the hills in Cox’s Bazar.

These camps – already among the biggest refugee camps in the world – fall on a major transboundary elephant habitat corridor between Bangladesh and Myanmar. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), there are about 40 elephants in the area and they move between Bangladesh and Myanmar in search of food.

At least 12 people have been killed by different elephant stampedes in the Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazar since the camps were built.


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Rohingyas rally for elephants


The International Day for Biological Diversity was marked in Cox's Bazar's Kutupalong refugee camp yesterday, highlighting work by UNHCR and IUCN to prevent elephant-human conflict and promoting environmental awareness.

Hundreds of Rohingya refugees volunteering as Elephant Response Team (ERT) members at the vast Kutupalong refugee site took part in a peaceful procession in several areas of the settlement, carrying placards and banners to highlight International Day for Biological Diversity.

The placards and banners, including some shaped as elephants, had slogans reading, “Elephants are the Friends of Nature”, “Save Wildlife, Save Nature” and “Let's Make the World a Greener Place”.

The procession took place on the 25th anniversary of the annual global event, said a press release from UNHCR.

The volunteers were joined by Mohammad Abul Kalam, refugee relief and repatriation commissioner (RRRC); Raquibul Amin, country representative of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN); and Ehsanul Hoque, UNHCR environment officer, as well as officials from the Bangladesh Forest Department.

At a meeting after the rally, Abul Kalam praised IUCN and UNHCR for their joint project aimed at reducing incidents involving elephants coming into conflict with refugees.

“To protect us, to survive, we need forests, we need animals. We must understand how important this biodiversity is. Elephants are also part of this biodiverse ecosystem and should be respected,” he added.

Part of the project includes training volunteer Rohingya refugees as Elephant Response Teams (ERTs) to guard the refugee settlements. The project will also work with the local host community.

Since the Rohingya refugee influx into Bangladesh last August, there have been at least 13 deaths resulting from human-elephant incidents in the main Kutupalong-Balukhali refugee settlement.


 To read the full article, click on the story title.





Corridor block compounds man-elephant conflict on border



GUWAHATI: Disruption of traditional elephant corridors and decreasing access to food has compounded the conflict between humans and elephants in areas along and near the Assam-Meghalaya border, forest officials here say.
“A majority of the wild elephants who cross over to the Goalpara forest division near the border are originally from Garo Hills, and with the traditional/regular routes taken by the herds blocked of late because of erection of electric fences in Garo Hills, the elephants have literally no option but to take a detour,” a senior official from the Assam forest department told The Shillong Times on Saturday.
On Friday, a herd of 28 wild elephants had reportedly damaged several houses and destroyed crops in the Dhekiabari area in Krishnai (Goalpara district) near the Assam-Meghalaya border. However, there was no casualty or injury caused to any person.
Forest sources say that unlike Rani and Garbhanga under Guwahati wildlife division, which has a large forest area facilitating better movement of elephant herds, the reserved forests in Goalpara division are smaller and scattered.
“The elephants in these 30 to 40 scattered reserved forests earlier used to migrate to Bangladesh but now they are confined to the border areas of Assam and Meghalaya. Also, most villagers in Goalpara district are taking up large-scale rubber plantation and hence access to food for these marauding elephants has become limited. So, these herds resort to destroying houses and granaries in search of food,” the forest official said.
The herds, he said, generally raid human habitation in search of food during winter. “But of late, there is an apparent deviation and we are noticing a growing trend of elephants raiding human habitation in other seasons as well,” the forest official said.
According to the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (year ended March 31, 2017), close to 10,000 cases of human-elephant conflicts have been reported from Meghalaya in the past five years.
Twenty five persons died, 22 injured and about 4,009 hectares of cropland damaged in such conflicts between 2012 and 2017.
Meghalaya is home to around 1,800 elephants with Garo Hills region alone (including Balpakram National Park), accounting for about two-thirds of such conflicts, the CAG report said.


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Tuesday, May 15, 2018

12 People Died After Elephants Ran Over a Refugee Camp



The elephants were stressed because the refugee camp blocked one of the routes that the animals have been using for centuries.


Twelve refugees were killed after frightened elephants ran over one of the largest refugee camps in the world, the BBC reported.

The animals destroyed many of the homes in a Bangkish camp in Bangladesh.

The problem is that huge refugee camps block elephants' migration routes. Animals get confused and stressed when they deviate from their routes.

The United Nations Association decided to set up observation towers and specially trained teams to guide the animals when they cross the camp. With this, they hope to avoid more death cases among both people and elephants. So far, no elephant has been injured.


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Elephants destroy Rohingya tents in Bangladesh refugee camp



One of the world's largest refugee camps, Kutupalong in the coastal town of Cox's Bazar, has fallen prey to elephant attacks that have caused a dozen deaths over the past six months. The camp is home to 700,000 Rohingya who have fled a brutal campaign of violence in Myanmar. The area around Kutupalong, a natural habitat for elephants, lies on a migration route used by the animals to move between Bangladesh and Myanmar in search of food and shelter. A response programme orchestrated by the International Union for Conservation of Nature aims to warn residents when an elephant enters the camp
Fatal elephant attacks on Rohingya refugees push Bangladesh to act.


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Elephant calf rescued after falling into well in Dhenkanal



Kamakhyanagar: In the latest incident of elephant incursion in Dhenkanal district, a pachyderm calf fell into an abandoned well in Jamujhara village under Kamakhyanagar West Forest Range last night. Forest officials rescued the baby elephant after two hours of Herculean effort.

The incident came to light this morning after some locals heard elephant trumpets and found the calf inside the well after reaching near it. They immediately called up forest officials and informed the matter.

The baby elephant could have been separated from an elephant herd which was seen near the village last night and later disappeared into the forest, said a local. The calf appears to be aged around 2 years, he added.

As per the final report the calf has been rescued from the well with the help of forest officials. It was later released into the Pandua forest after necessary treatment.


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Fatal elephant attacks on Rohingya refugees push Bangladesh to act



Young boy becomes latest in series of casualties at Kutupalong camp in Cox’s Bazar, which lies on migration route long used by elephants.

Bangaldesh has pledged to step up its response to a series of deadly elephant attacks at a refugee camp housing hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees after a 12-year-old boy was trampled to death.

Shamsu Uddin died instantly when an elephant attacked him after he had fallen asleep while guarding paddy fields with friends in Uttar Shilkhali village in the coastal town of Cox’s Bazar.


Three days later, a young girl was critically injured when elephants attacked Nayapara refugee camp, to the south of Cox’s Bazar.

Both attacks occurred outside Kutupalong, temporary home to 700,000 Rohingya refugees. The rising number of fatal elephant attacks – at least a dozen in the six months from October 2017 – tell a wider, tragic story of how deforestation, monsoons and the refugee crisis have left some of the world’s most vulnerable people at the mercy of wild animals.

Crowded together on a bare hillside at the mercy of the approaching rainy season, residents of the sprawling Kutupalong camp – mainly Rohingya muslims who have fled a brutal campaign of violence in Myanmar in August – already live in difficult conditions. But it also sits on several important migration corridors between Myanmar and Bangladesh that elephants have used for centuries.


This year, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) began a programme to raise awareness, setting up 56 watchtowers and 30 volunteer elephant response teams to warn residents when elephants enter the camp. As part of the initiative, people are made aware of what they should do if they encounter an elephant.




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Saturday, May 05, 2018

Elephant found dead in Sherpur



Sherpur, May 1 (UNB) – A wild elephant was found dead at bordering Gandhigaon village in Jhenaigati upazila on Tuesday morning.

Md Rafiqul Islam, beat officer of Gazni beat of Department of Forest in Jhenaigati upazila, said locals spotted the elephant 25/30 yards off Gandigaon Bonrani rest house and informed the forest office.

On information, officials of the forest department recovered the body around 7am.

The official said that the body bore an injury mark under its right ear.

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Boy killed in Cox’s Bazar elephant attack



Cox’s Bazar, May 3 (UNB) – A teenage boy was trampled to death by an elephant and two others sustained severe injuries in the attack at Uttar Shilkhali village in Taknaf upazila here on Wednesday night.

The deceased was identified as Shamsu Uddin,12, son of late Aflat Hossain of the village.

Locals said Shamsu along with his two fellows went to patrol their paddy field near their house on Wednesday night.

A wild elephant attacked them around 3:30am while they were sleeping, leaving Shamsu dead on the spot.

His two friends--- Belal Uddin and Rabiul Alam--- were severely injured in the attack. The body was handed over to the family while the injured were admitted to Teknaf hospital for treatment, said Ranjit Barua, officer-in-charge of Teknaf Model Police Station.


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Elephant found dead in Sherpur



A wild elephant was found dead at bordering Gandhigaon village in Jhenaigati upazila on Tuesday morning.

Md Rafiqul Islam, beat officer of Gazni beat of Department of Forest in Jhenaigati upazila, said locals spotted the elephant 25/30 yards off Gandigaon Bonrani rest house and informed the forest office.

On information, officials of the forest department recovered the body around 7am.

The official said that the body bore an injury mark under its right ear.

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Wild elephants rampage through Rohingya refugee camp

Up to 12 people have been killed as wild elephants continue to rampage through a Rohingya refugee camp in Bangladesh.

Twelve Rohingya people have been killed by wild elephants in a refugee camp in Bangladesh over recent months.

Nearly 700,000 Rohingya Muslims fled from Myanmar to Bangladesh since a military crackdown last year.

The United Nations has said the military crackdown could constitute as an "act of genocide".

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Sunday, April 22, 2018

Google doodle celebrates Pahela Baishakh



Dhaka, Mar 14 (UNB) – Search engine giant Google is celebrating Pahela Baishakh, the first day of the Bangla new year, by replacing its regular home page graphic with a special doodle for the Bangladeshi surfers.

Google‘s new Doodle Saturday featured a parade of colorful banners in the shape of an elephant and Mangal Shobhajatra.

The calendar was originally commissioned by Mughal Emperor Akbar who introduced the calendar to facilitate tax collections in the spring—just after the harvest.

Google Doodle is a special, temporary alteration of the logo on Google’s homepage that is intended to celebrate holidays, events, achievements and people. The doodle was introduced in 1998.

Google in its massage said, “Pahela Baishakh is a time to start fresh.”

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Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Smiles and slapstick as Rohingya refugees learn to corral elephants



KUTUPALONG CAMP, BANGLADESH (AFP) - A trumpet fills the air as two "elephants" charge, scattering Rohingya refugee actors at a training session in a camp which cuts deep into Bangladeshi forest once reserved for the protected species.

Part awareness raising, part pantomime, the scenario uses life-size puppets of elephants made from bamboo and old clothing and expertly propelled by volunteers.

Each charge - and exaggerated counter by bands of Rohingya villagers - draws squeals of delight from the children crowded around a dusty paddy field.

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Sunday, April 08, 2018

For Rohingya refugees fleeing persecution, elephants pose a new threat



As refugee camps in Bangladesh expand into wildlife habitats, a dozen people have been killed by elephants.

When the tarpaulin she was sleeping under started rustling furiously in the darkness, Mustaba Khatun thought it was thieves cutting their way into her shelter on the edges of Bangladesh’s Kutupalong-Balukhali refugee camp, where the city of bamboo and plastic meets the forest.

“We thought someone had come to take our supplies so we rushed outside and that’s when we saw the elephant. Then it charged at us,” she recalled of the night in September 2017, only weeks after she fled a Myanmar military operation that killed an estimated 6,700 Rohingya Muslims.

A child and an adult were killed in that nocturnal chaos, and the community was left with a new fear to live with after a harrowing escape from alleged “systematic killings and rape.” One of Khatun’s neighbors, his own leg still bandaged from falling over as he bolted from the scene, keeps a grisly photo of the aftermath on his phone. Soon afterward, the child’s mourning family decided to move deeper into the camp. Those remaining on the edges formed night watches, monitoring the hills and rallying the neighbors to chase away any elephants that wandered in.

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25 ERTs formed to protect Rohingyas from elephants



The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has formed 25 Elephant Response Teams (ERTs), each made up of 10 Rohingya volunteers, as part of its plan to reduce incidents involving elephants coming into conflict with refugees in the world's largest refugee settlement.

They are being equipped with whistles, torches, and loudspeakers and will work from bamboo watch-towers being established around the refugeesettlement to help guard the site, said the UNHCR.

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency is partnering with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in Bangladesh to reduce elephants' deaths in the refugee settlement.

Since the Rohingya refugee influx into Bangladesh started, there have been at least 10 deaths resulting from human-elephant incidents in the main Kutupalong-Balukhali refugee settlement.

The highly congested refugee site, which houses around 570,000 refugees who fled Myanmar, used to be forest land but is now crowded with tens of thousands of refugee shelters and services, it said.

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Friday, March 30, 2018

IUCN warns of rise in man-elephant conflict



There is a high risk of elephant encounters in coming days unless immediate and long-term measures are taken, including freeing elephant corridors that have been blocked by the creation of Rohingya refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar. According to experts, human–elephant conflicts in and around the Kutupalong camp will increase if the movement of wild elephants and their migration corridors are blocked for long.

As of January 2018, Bangladesh hosted almost one million forcibly displaced persons from Myanmar, who are meeting their basic needs, such as food and shelter, by using resources from the adjacent forests in Cox’s Bazar. As a result, indiscriminate deforestation is affecting the biodiversity and forest resources in that area, according to a report prepared by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature).

The Rohingyas are burning about 50,000 kg of firewood by cutting trees for cooking every day in Ukhiya, Teknaf and Naikhangchhari areas. This is destroying the ecosystem of Cox’s Bazar, forest officials say.

The government has already allocated 3,000 acres of forest to build sheds to accommodate the Rohingyas in and around Cox’s Bazar.

According to a report of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), deforestation and degradation of forests due to uncontrolled fuel wood collection could result in an irreversible loss of productivity and extinction of plants and and animals in Cox’s Bazar.

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Sunday, March 18, 2018

UNHCR launches programme to protect Rohingyas from elephant attacks

‘Tusk force’ set up to protect refugees and elephants in Bangladesh

UNHCR and the International Union for Conservation of Nature are working together to mitigate incidents between elephants and humans in the world’s largest refugee settlement.

KUTUPALONG CAMP, Bangladesh – Battered and badly bruised, Anwar Begum, a Rohingya refugee, surveys the damage around her bamboo shelter.

Sleeping mats ripped apart; plastic buckets and even metal cooking pots and plates torn and dented. Her shelter was toppled – but neighbours in Kutupalong refugee settlement near Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, have helped her re-erect it.

“I’m very grateful, thanks to the almighty, to be alive,” the 45-year-old said. “But I’m terrified.”

Just a few days earlier, in the middle of the night, a wild elephant entered her small shelter and killed her husband, 50-year-old Yakub Ali. It was one of several elephants that wandered into the camp, damaging shelters and injuring their occupants, following their usual migratory path.

Anwar and her family fled their home in Myanmar six months ago, settling in the vast Kutupalong refugee settlement. “We weren’t aware of any elephant presence here,” she said. “I remember once seeing elephants back home in Myanmar, but in the distance – never close up like this.”

Clearly shaken, Anwar recounted the events that occurred that night. “It was around 1 a.m. I heard a heavy sound and felt the roof falling onto us. It was quick and loud. I started screaming. It all went very fast and my husband was killed”.

Anwar was treated in hospital for three days. By the time she came back to the settlement, neighbours had helped to rebuild her shelter. UNHCR’s partners have now provided her with new household items, and Anwar has received counselling from UN Refugee Agency protection staff.
UNHCR and its partner IUCN – the International Union for Conservation of Nature – have now launched an action plan to try to prevent incidents like this, which have resulted in the deaths of at least 10 refugees, including young children, in Kutupalong settlement.

“This partnership is critical not only to ensure the conservation of elephants, but to protect refugees.”

The highly congested site, which used to be forest land, lies along one of the migratory routes between Myanmar and Bangladesh for critically endangered Asian elephants.

The so-called ‘tusk force’ will work with both the local host community and refugees, in close consultation with the Bangladesh Forest Department and the Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner’s Office.

Mitigation plans include installing watch-towers in key spots around the settlement, as well as setting up Elephant Response Teams who can sound the alarm if elephants enter the site. Elephant routes and corridors will be clearly marked, so that people will know which areas to avoid. Campaigns will also be carried out to create better awareness of the risks.

“This partnership is critical not only to ensure the conservation of elephants, but to protect refugees, a number of whom have tragically already lost their lives,” said Kevin Allen, UNHCR’s head of emergency operations in Cox’s Bazar district.

The project is part of a wider initiative by UNHCR and the IUCN to mitigate some of the environmental impacts linked to the establishment of refugee settlements in Cox’s Bazar.

Other plans include carrying out environmental education and awareness among refugees and the host communities about the importance of forest resources as well as taking steps to improve the environment in the refugee settlement areas and nearby surroundings.

The project leaders will also advocate for reforestation programmes to ensure that natural resources and a shared environment are better protected.

Your support is urgently needed to help refugee children, women and men in Bangladesh


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At least 10 Rohingyas trampled to death by wild elephants

Wild elephants have trampled at least 10 Rohingya refugees to death in separate incidents, the United Nations said on Tuesday, according to agencies reports.

The reports added, the UN is announcing a new plan to foster ‘safe coexistence’ between animals and sprawling refugee settlements.

Refugee camps have begun to rise alarmingly after around 700,000 Rohingyas fled from Myanmar and settled in Bangladesh’s border area of Cox’s Bazar, including Kutupalong which now holds the distinction of being the largest refugee camp in the world.

The United Nations refugee agency said the threat from elephants had emerged as a new concern as wild elephants in search of food often attack these refugee camps smelling food.

Notably, the area now occupied by the Kutupalong refugee settlement was an important habitat for Asian elephants for quite some time.

Reports quoted an UN agency report as stating that there are about 40 elephants in the area and they move between Bangladesh and Myanmar in search of food.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), agencies reports said, has announced partnering with International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which has experience in Bangladesh helping people live alongside wild elephants.

The plan includes imparting training to the refugees to emergency response during elephant attacks.

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U.N. tries to protect refugees from deadly elephant attacks

Rohingya refugees who escaped horrors in Myanmar face another threat in Bangladesh: wild elephants. Refugee camps in the country are located along migratory and feeding routes for the animals.

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Friday, March 16, 2018

Rohingya influx deals blow to Bangladesh’s wild elephant population

The influx of the displaced Rohingya has a dealt a double blow to the wild elephant population inhabiting Bangladesh’s Chittagong region.

Shortage of food and destruction of habitat forced the elephants to venture out, leading to clashes with humans. Five elephants have been killed between November 21 last year and January 22 – three of them from electrocution and landmine-related injuries.

Conservationists say elephants are known as ecosystem’s engineers and gardeners since they play a vital role in forest enhancement by disbursing seeds and creating an environment for germination.

Elephant dung plays a crucial role in nutrient cycling by providing nutrients to the soil that is ultimately used by the flora. It is also a good source of food for many insects, experts say.

Since the latest spell of Rohingya crisis, Myanmar security forces planted landmines and erected barbed wire fence along its border with Bangladesh, obstructing the trans-boundary migratory routes of the giant mammals.

On the other hand, shelters set up for the Rohingya – which led to the destruction of 4,000 acres of forestland – also blocked the wild elephants’ routes. The Rohingya are destroying forest resources to meet their daily demand of firewood of 800 tons.

Obstruction of the passages and destruction of forests have forced elephants to seek alternative routes and triggered crop-raiding incidents.

Nearly 690,000 Rohingya escaped to Bangladesh after Myanmar security forces launched a brutal ‘clearance operation’ targeting the minority in last August. Another 100,000 Rohingya had crossed the border earlier following violence in the Rakhine state in October 2016.

The presence of the huge number of people and encroachment of forests has made the wild elephants more desperate in their search for food and water. Between September 17 last year and January 19, seven Rohingya were trampled to death by wild elephants in Ukhiya and Balukhali refugee camps.
But as many as five wild elephants have also been killed in the last three months.

“Unnatural death of an adult female elephant is a great loss since she is a repository of traditional knowledge, including the migration routes,” wildlife biologist Dr AHM Raihan Sarker told the Dhaka Tribune.

He said the wild elephants turned violent as they were pushed to the limit.

“The trans-boundary corridors (Balukhali-Naikhyangchhari-Myanmar and Balukhali-Ghundhum-Myanmar) turned dangerous for the migratory elephants as Myanmar security forces planted landmines along the borders,” he noted.

“Besides, routes used by the elephant have been blocked to make space for refugee camps,” he added.
Elephants consume equivalent to 1.5% of their body weight every day and usually the quantity of fodder ranges from 135kg to 300kg for adults, the expert said. The wild elephants invade crop fields as they are an easy source of food.

“It is natural for the farmers to protect their crop from raiding animals. But it is the responsibility of the forest officials to keep a strict vigil to avert any casualty of wild animals,” he said.
He suggested adopting an action plan urgently to save the mammals.

Ishtiaq Uddin Ahmed, a former country representative of the IUCN Bangladesh, said elephants were among protected animals under the Wildlife Act, adding that the forest department should investigate the repeated incidents of death of the wild elephants.

Eminent wildlife conservationist Reza Khan cited a study which showed that the elephants naturally browse on at least 50 species of plants and eat fruits of over a dozen trees.

Deforestation and changing patterns in forestry created a severe shortage of food for elephants and other animals.

He said many people had encroached on forest lands and occupied routes used by elephants. The illegal land occupiers sometimes use electrical fences and poison-laced food items to deter elephants raiding their crops or dwellings, the former IUCN member said, demanding punishment for the offenders.

“Rampaging wild elephants entering human settlements should be tranquillized and moved to remote areas where there are existing elephant populations,” Khan told the Dhaka Tribune. “To reduce human-elephant conflicts, the government must ensure sufficient supply of food and water inside the forest.”

When contacted, Md Jahidul Kabir, conservator of forests (wildlife and nature conservation circle), said they were going to undertake a special project in consultation with the IUCN.

Wildlife biologist Raihan said wild elephants played a significant role in protecting natural forests, adding: “The conservation of elephants should be a mandatory task to ensure their survivability.”

Dr Anisuzzaman Khan, biodiversity researcher and chief adviser to Isabela Foundation, said, “People all over the world keep a close eye on the state of tigers and elephants. Infrastructural development of a country becomes meaningless and the country suffers from an image deficit if tigers or elephants meet unnatural death.”

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Thursday, March 08, 2018

Rohingya influx deals blow to Bangladesh’s wild elephant population

As many as five wild elephants have been killed between November 21 last year and January 22

The influx of the displaced Rohingya has a dealt a double blow to the wild elephant population inhabiting Bangladesh’s Chittagong region.

Shortage of food and destruction of habitat forced the elephants to venture out, leading to clashes with humans. Five elephants have been killed between November 21 last year and January 22 – three of them from electrocution and landmine-related injuries.

Conservationists say elephants are known as ecosystem’s engineers and gardeners since they play a vital role in forest enhancement by disbursing seeds and creating an environment for germination.

Elephant dung plays a crucial role in nutrient cycling by providing nutrients to the soil that is ultimately used by the flora. It is also a good source of food for many insects, experts say.

Since the latest spell of Rohingya crisis, Myanmar security forces planted landmines and erected barbed wire fence along its border with Bangladesh, obstructing the trans-boundary migratory routes of the giant mammals.

On the other hand, shelters set up for the Rohingya – which led to the destruction of 4,000 acres of forestland – also blocked the wild elephants’ routes. The Rohingya are destroying forest resources to meet their daily demand of firewood of 800 tons.

Obstruction of the passages and destruction of forests have forced elephants to seek alternative routes and triggered crop-raiding incidents.

Nearly 690,000 Rohingya escaped to Bangladesh after Myanmar security forces launched a brutal ‘clearance operation’ targeting the minority in last August. Another 100,000 Rohingya had crossed the border earlier following violence in the Rakhine state in October 2016.

The presence of the huge number of people and encroachment of forests has made the wild elephants more desperate in their search for food and water. Between September 17 last year and January 19, seven Rohingya were trampled to death by wild elephants in Ukhiya and Balukhali refugee camps.

But as many as five wild elephants have also been killed in the last three months.



“Unnatural death of an adult female elephant is a great loss since she is a repository of traditional knowledge, including the migration routes,” wildlife biologist Dr AHM Raihan Sarker told the Dhaka Tribune.

He said the wild elephants turned violent as they were pushed to the limit.

“The trans-boundary corridors (Balukhali-Naikhyangchhari-Myanmar and Balukhali-Ghundhum-Myanmar) turned dangerous for the migratory elephants as Myanmar security forces planted landmines along the borders,” he noted.

“Besides, routes used by the elephant have been blocked to make space for refugee camps,” he added.

Elephants consume equivalent to 1.5% of their body weight every day and usually the quantity of fodder ranges from 135kg to 300kg for adults, the expert said. The wild elephants invade crop fields as they are an easy source of food.

“It is natural for the farmers to protect their crop from raiding animals. But it is the responsibility of the forest officials to keep a strict vigil to avert any casualty of wild animals,” he said.

He suggested adopting an action plan urgently to save the mammals.

Ishtiaq Uddin Ahmed, a former country representative of the IUCN Bangladesh, said elephants were among protected animals under the Wildlife Act, adding that the forest department should investigate the repeated incidents of death of the wild elephants.

Eminent wildlife conservationist Reza Khan cited a study which showed that the elephants naturally browse on at least 50 species of plants and eat fruits of over a dozen trees.

Deforestation and changing patterns in forestry created a severe shortage of food for elephants and other animals.

He said many people had encroached on forest lands and occupied routes used by elephants. The illegal land occupiers sometimes use electrical fences and poison-laced food items to deter elephants raiding their crops or dwellings, the former IUCN member said, demanding punishment for the offenders.

“Rampaging wild elephants entering human settlements should be tranquillized and moved to remote areas where there are existing elephant populations,” Khan told the Dhaka Tribune. “To reduce human-elephant conflicts, the government must ensure sufficient supply of food and water inside the forest.”

When contacted, Md Jahidul Kabir, conservator of forests (wildlife and nature conservation circle), said they were going to undertake a special project in consultation with the IUCN.

Wildlife biologist Raihan said wild elephants played a significant role in protecting natural forests, adding: “The conservation of elephants should be a mandatory task to ensure their survivability.”

Dr Anisuzzaman Khan, biodiversity researcher and chief adviser to Isabela Foundation, said, “People all over the world keep a close eye on the state of tigers and elephants. Infrastructural development of a country becomes meaningless and the country suffers from an image deficit if tigers or elephants meet unnatural death.”

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Sunday, February 11, 2018

Rohingya man killed in elephant attack

A Rohingya man was killed in an elephant attack in Majurchhara area of Kutupalong Rohingya camp in Ukhia upazila early Friday.

The deceased was identified as Yakub Ali, 45, son of Mahmud Ali.

A wild elephant entered the camp around 3 am and killed Yakub by using his turtle, said officer-in-charge of Ukhia Police Station M Abul Khayer quoting family members.

Earlier, 12 Rohingyas, including women and children, were killed in several elephant attacks in the Rohingya camp.

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Elephants and Rohingya Muslim refugees jostle for space in Bangladesh

An elephant gets rid of a fallen tree that created a highway block in Barishal, 75 miles south of Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka, Friday, Nov. 16, 2007.(Photograph: Pavel Rahman, AP)

Mohammed Alam and his younger circle of relatives had been taking part in their first excellent night time’s sleep in a very long time when the elephant attacked their tent.

He and his spouse, each Rohingya Muslims, had fled their village in Myanmar’s northern Rakhine state after infantrymen started burning homes. They’d trekked for 5 days to go the border and carve out house at the fringes of Bangladesh’s sprawling Kutupalong refugee camp. That night time, in October, they idea they had been protected. “We had been dozing so soundly,” Mohammed says. “I didn’t know anything else.”

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Thursday, February 08, 2018

Truck kills elephant in Lalmonirhat

PV Desk : A circus elephant was killed after getting hit by a freight truck at Milan Bazar in Hatibandha upazila of the district on Monday noon (January 22).

One bystander Mizanur Rahman said the incident took place while the mahout, elephant rider, tried to stop the truck for subscription. The truck driver hit the elephant and quickly fled the scene. The injured elephant died later at noon.

Hatibandha highway police station officer-in-charge (OC) Prosun Kanti Das confirmed the death news of the animal.

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Wild elephant kills one in Rangamati

Rangamati: A man was trampled to death in a wild elephant attack in Sadar upazila of the district on Thursday morning.

Deceased Kina Chandra Chakma, 62, was the son of Boloram Chakma of Jibtoli union.

Kotwali Police Station source confirmed the death.

The source said a herd of wild elephants attacked Kina Chandra and trampled him to death in Jibtoli union when he was going Kaptai Lake for fishing.

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Thursday, December 14, 2017

Elephant tramples man to death in Bandarban

BANDARBAN: A farmer was trampled to death by a wild elephant at Kaliganya in Tangkaboti union of Bandarban sadar upazila on Friday morning (Dec 1).

The deceased was identified as Md Kamaluddin, 52, hailed from the area.

Locals said some 3-4 wild elephants swoop out of the jungle while Kamaluddin was working on the field in the early morning and trampled him to death while he tried to flee out of fear.

Locals believed the elephant herd came out of the jungle in search for foods. 

Confirming the matter to Banglanews, Bandarban sadar police station officer-in-charge (OC) Md Golam Sarwar said, on information, police recovered the body from the spot.

However, elephant attack in several areas of Bandarban is not uncommon. Previously peoples have died as elephants suddenly came out of the wild into locality and attacked them.

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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Man trampled to death by domesticated elephant in Moulvibazar

The elephant first knocked the old man down with its trunk and then crushed his head under its feet, leaving him dead on the spot.

An elderly man has been trampled to death by a domesticated elephant in Kulaura upazila of Moulvibazar.

The female elephant, named Lakkhi, became agitated and attacked Ishak Ali, a 75-year-old local, while it was moving past the Banglabazar area around 4pm on Sunday.

The elephant knocked the old man down with its trunk first, and then crushed his head under its foot, leaving him dead on the spot, according to witnesses.

The mahout driving the elephant was on his way back to the upazila headquarters from the neighbouring Kamalganj upazila.

Kulaura police station Officer-in-Charge Shamim Musa said the elephant had already been subdued and tied to a large tree with iron chains.

The body of the deceased will be sent to a hospital morgue for autopsy, and steps to take regarding the elephant will be decided after consultation with the Forest Department.

The elephant’s owner Mostofa Uddin, a resident of Kulaura Sadar upazila, could not be reached for comment by phone.

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Trump puts elephant trophy imports on hold

President Donald Trump has suspended the import of elephant hunting trophies, only a day after a ban was relaxed by his administration.

Imports of trophies from elephants legally hunted in Zambia and Zimbabwe had been set to resume, reversing a 2014 Obama-era ban.

But late on Friday, President Trump tweeted the change was on hold until he could “review all conservation facts”.

The move to relax the ban had sparked immediate anger from animal activists.

“Your shameful actions confirm the rumours that you are unfit for office,” said French actress and animal-rights activist Brigitte Bardot in a letter to President Trump.

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Sunday, November 12, 2017

Settlements on trails deepen human-elephant conflicts

Ever expanding human settlement on trails is fragmenting and destroying the habitats of elephants, the already threatened species in the country, thus causing human-elephant casualties.

In the last couple of months, the tolls of human and elephant casualties increased amid a large part of elephant ranges being allocated as shelters to the Rohingyas fleeing persecution in Myanmar as well as brought under crop cultivation projects.

Department of Forests officials told New Age that at least 12 people were trampled to death by elephant herds and eight elephants were found dead in Cox’s Bazar, Sherpur, Bandarban and Moulavibazar this year.

Of the casualties, eight people were killed by elephants in September and October while five wild elephants were killed in the two months.

At least six Rohingyas, temporarily camped at forestlands at Kutupalang and Balukhali of Ukhia under Cox’s Bazar, were reportedly trampled by wild elephants in September and October so far.
Besides the areas, earlier designated for the Rohingya people at Kutupalang, forest officials said, the government allocated an additional 3,000 acres of forestlands at Ukhia, entirely on the elephant trails, for sheltering over six lakh newly-arrived Rohingyas.

Wildlife and Nature Conservation Circle conservator Jahidul Kabir observes that elephant is now the most endangered species as their habitats have been destroyed by human intervention.

He added that three elephants were killed during the recent landslides in the Chittagong division while another one was found dead with wounds besides the River Naf in Cox’s Bazar.

In the last two months, at least three people were trampled by wild elephants along the Bangladesh-India border in Sherpur as local people tried to resist stray elephants from destroying crops.

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Sunday, October 29, 2017

Elephant electrocution along border on the rise

The incidents of wild elephants getting electrocuted is on the rise along Bangladesh's border since farmers have started installing generators and electric wires to protect their paddy fields from attacks by elephants coming from across the border.

Official sources say two wild elephants were found dead in the frontier area of Sreebardi upazila in Sherpur in this month (Oct 6 and 8). Both the elephants died after they came in contact with live wire placed on an Aman paddy field to protect it from animals. On August 13, another elephant was found dead at Haluahati village in Sreebardi upazila.

"The incidents of wild elephants falling victims to electrocution has recently marked a rise as farmers are increasingly installing generators and electric wires in their paddy fields to save their crops from elephants that come from Indian side," said Jahidul Kabir, forest conservator of Wildlife and Nature Conservation here, told UNB. He said three elephants were electrocuted recently in Sherpur while another was killed in 2015.

Asian elephants are said to be migratory animals as they can cover a considerable distance within a short period of time. In forests, elephant herds follow a well-defined migration route. The presence of traffic on roads, construction of steep retaining walls, barbed-wire fences, and the presence of human population along the corridor and routes can limit the migration of elephants that ultimately hinders their genetic diversity.Jahidul Kabir said when trans-boundary elephants enter Bangladesh's territory facing food crisis in India. "Once in Bangladesh territory, they find no suitable habitat here either."

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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

2 Rohingya girls killed in elephant attack in Bangladesh

Two girls were killed and three others injured in an elephant attack in a Rohingya refugee camp in Bangladesh, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said Saturday.

The attack occurred late Friday in the Balukhali camp in the coastal Cox's Bazaar city, the UN migration agency in Bangladesh said on its Twitter account.

One of the girls aged five years died on the spot, while the other 13-year-old girl succumbed to her wounds at the hospital, the agency added.

Since Aug. 25, some 536,000 Rohingya have crossed from Myanmar's western state of Rakhine into Bangladesh, according to the UN.

The refugees are fleeing a military operation in which security forces and Buddhist mobs have killed men, women and children, looted homes and torched Rohingya villages.

According to Bangladeshi Foreign Minister Abul Hasan Mahmood Ali, around 3,000 Rohingya have been killed in the crackdown.

The Rohingya, described by the UN as the world's most persecuted people, have faced heightened fears of attack since dozens were killed in communal violence in 2012.

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Wild Elephants Attack Rohingya Camp, Kill 4

The refugees have described widespread and indiscriminate violence and arsons.
"Every minute counts given the fragile condition they're arriving in", said Mahecic.
Jens Laerke, spokesman of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), said that Rohingya in Rakhine now faced a "desperate choice whether to stay or go", not only due to the violence but also humanitarian needs. "They started firing on the village".

This new influx of refugees flee to join the over 536,000 Rohingya Muslims who have already escaped Myanmar to Bangladesh since August 25 when coordinated attacks were carried out by the Army on their settlements in Rakhine State.

"The military killed my brother".
"Twenty-one passengers were rescued, while many others are believed to have gone missing, " the officer said.

Hundreds of thousands of Rohingya have fled Myanmar since August 25, when the military launched a crackdown decried by the United Nations as "ethnic cleansing".

The Rohingya are fleeing violence in Myanmar's Rakhine state, where the United Nations has accused troops of waging an ethnic cleansing campaign against them.

Thousands of new Rohingya Muslims have arrived in Bangladesh on Monday after fleeing severe hunger in Myanmar.

The UNHCR said it was working with the Bangladesh government to complete a new transit centre in Kutupalong, the largest of the refugee camps housing the Rohingya.

District forest official Mohammed Ali Kabir said a herd of elephants entered the Balukhali camp in Ukhiya town early on Saturday and trampled tents where several refugees were sleeping.

The camp would be the largest in the world and has raised concerns about the risks of heavily concentrating such a large number of vulnerable people, such as the spread of disease.

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Thursday, October 12, 2017

Wild elephant found dead in Sherpur

A wild elephant was found dead at Balijuri border of Sreebardi upazila on Sunday morning.

Md Rabiul Islam, Balijhuri range officer of the Forest Department, said locals spotted the elephant’s body in a paddy field in Balijuri border area at 8:30 am.

On information, the officials of the department went to the spot and made the viscera report.

It might be died after coming in contact with live electric wire placed in Aman paddy field to protect it from animals, added the official.

Later, the elephant was buried there, he added.

Earlier on October 6 and August 13, two wild elephants were found dead at Rangajan and Haluahati villages of Sreebardi upazila.

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Elephant kills and injures Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh

A woman and a Rohingya child were killed and a man and his wife were injured with fractures and deep wounds from wild elephant while sleeping near the Balu Khali camp in Bangladesh.

Arakan news agency reported that a woman and a child were killed after they were stepped over by elephants, while another man has broken his pelvis bone and spine also his wife was injured.

Because of the influx of large numbers of refugees in Bangladesh, many of them are now trying to find shelters, which leads them to move towards the forests, which is full of wild animals and puts them at risk of being attacked by elephants and other animals.

Wild animals has exacerbated the tragedy of the Rohingya Muslims after fleeing Arakan, Myanmar, and reaching Bangladesh where difficult living conditions, lack of safe drinking water and food, and the risk of epidemics due to poor infrastructure.

Eleven people have been trampled on in recent days, especially during the night when people are asleep. Two men were attacked on September 19th, and a man and a child were trampled on September 25, all the vicitms were killed.

Asian elephants are among the most dangerous in Bangladesh. Many of them travel in the Chittagong region of the southeast, where there are a large number of refugees.

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Saturday, September 30, 2017

Bangladesh elephant rampage highlights dangers for refugees: UNHCR

After fleeing flames and gunfire in Myanmar, Rohingya refugee Jane Alam thought danger was behind him in Bangladesh.

 But as he slept last night in a fragile shelter in a forested area near Kutupalong refugee camp, rampaging elephants crashed in on top of his family.

 The 18-year-old’s father and a seven-month-old baby were killed in the attack, which also injured seven of his relatives.

 Grazed on the cheek, neck and hip, he trekked barefoot up a hillside overlooking the makeshift camp this morning to bury them.

 “We thought we would be safe here,” he says, numb with disbelief, standing beside his father’s grave, marked with small bamboo stakes.

 A few paces away, the tiny body of his infant relative lies on the muddy ground, wrapped in a white cloth. A man scoops out her shallow grave with a farm tool as a group of men stand solemnly by.

 The deaths highlight one of the unexpected dangers facing refugees and the risks as humanitarian actors respond to the arrival in Bangladesh of at least 429,000 people who have fled the latest outbreak of violence that erupted in Myanmar on August 25, according to UNHCR report.

 As two formal refugee camps in Bangladesh are overwhelmed, thousands are seeking shelter where they can - some in an uninhabited forested area outside Kutupalong camp.

 “The area is currently completely wild, so the people who are settling-in where there is wildlife,” says Franklin Golay, a staff member for UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, who is working to provide water, sanitation and shelter at the informal camp.

 “There are elephants roaming around that pose a threat,” he says.

 Asian elephants are considered a critically endangered species in Bangladesh, where conservationists estimate there are presently just 239 living in the wild.

Many roam in the Chittagong area in the southeast of the country, where the refugee influx is concentrated.

Local residents say the elephants are drawn to populated areas in the Monsoon season, when fruit including mangos and jackfruit ripen.

 Securing the rugged and partially forested area to mitigate the risk could be achieved with lights or electric fencing, Golay says.

 But for Alam’s grieving family, who fled persecution across the border in Myanmar, the attack is a stark reminder that their trials are not yet over.

 “We ran from danger, and we are still in a dangerous situation now,” says Ali Hussein, the dead man’s uncle. “This cannot be forgotten.”

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Thursday, September 28, 2017

Elephant kills mahout in Moulovibazar

An elephant rider or mahout was trampled to death by his elephant in Marina Tea Garden in Kulaura upazila of Moulovibazar on Saturday noon (September 23).

The deceased was identified as Gonu Mia (mahout), 42, son of one late Siraj Mia, hailed from Monsora village of Kormoda union.

Family Sources said the incident took place at noon while Gonu Mia was heading for work in the garden. The elephant suddenly became anxious, therefore, charged him after grabbing him with its trunk and trampled him to death.

Later the body was recovered from the spot and taken to the factory of Marina Tea Garden.

Officer-in-Charge (OC) of Kulaura Police Station confirmed the matter to Banglanews.

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Saturday, September 09, 2017

80 Meghalaya Elephants Holed Up In B’desh

SHILLONG: As many as 80 Meghalaya elephants are holed up in Bangladesh and unable to come back.

A state forest official said the elephants landed up in Northern part of Bangladesh after breaking the border fencing in the Garo Hills-Bangladesh sector.

The elephants are not being able to come back since many habitations have come up in and around the routes earlier taken by the elephants in the Bangladesh border.

“When the time came for them to return to Meghalaya, the new human habitations prevented the easy passage of the elephants,” the official added.

According to the official, the Bangladeshi residents and forest officials had noticed the elephant herd and concluded that they were from Meghalaya as there were no wild elephants belonging to Bangladesh in the northern part of the country.

Since the elephants cannot come back to Meghalaya, the only way is to protect them.
It was in this context that on July 27, the second Indo-Bangladesh dialogue for trans-boundary conservation of elephants was held in Shillong.

The purpose of the meeting was to sign a protocol to allow animals to move freely.
“Unlike human beings, animals need unrestricted movement across the border and the protocol by both the countries will ensure safety of the animals as they are vulnerable along the border,” the forest official added.

According to the official, India has already ratified the protocol and a similar response from Bangladesh is awaited.

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Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Elephant gives birth at Bangabandhu Safari Park

An elephant gave birth to a cub in Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Safari Park in Gazipur. The cub was born at 11:00pm on Sunday in the elephant aviary of the park. The mother elephant and the cub both are well.  The veterinary surgeon of the park said this is the first time that the wild elephant breeding is delivered in a closed environment. Nizam Uddin Chowdhury This is also a rare example for the country.

Surgeon Md. Nizam said, in different places of the country, in 2013, 6 wild elephants were brought to Safari Park and the pox was adopted. Of these two men and 4 females. After so many years on Sunday, elephants gave birth to the firstborn of elephants in the park. At present, the number of elephants in the Safari Park is 7. Earlier, no park or zoo has an elephant delivery information in the enclosed environment.

The birth weight of the breed was about 60 kg. An adult elephant usually weighs four thousand to five thousand kg. Elephants are capable of breeding in 18-20 years.  Their pregnancy time is 20-?2 months. Generally after four to five years a baby is born. There are breasts in the chest (two nipple) between the two legs in front of the elephant. The breed usually drinks the mother's milk for three to three years.

The average life expectancy of elephants is 100 years. Mother elephant with a baby is kept separate. The child is under the care of the mother. The child is walking around with the mother.Veterinary surgeon Md. Nizam Uddin Chowdhury said that the mother and the boy elephant are in her surveillance. There the tourists' travel was limited. Mother elephant is being fed every day with 20 kg of banana trees, 50 kg sweet pumpkin, 50 kg of sugarcane, 10 kg carrots, 3 kg of lemon and rice (rice).

After about four years the baby elephant started to eat natural foods. For the mother elephant not to suffer from malnutrition, she is being supplied with necessary food and medicines and kept under intensive scrutiny. Officer in charge of the park.  Shahabuddin said that the incident of elephant breeding in a zoo or a Safari park (Captivity) is a rare incident in the country. Both mother and herb are both healthy. But they have been kept in special care.

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Sunday, September 03, 2017

Farmer killed in elephant attack

An elderly farmer was killed and his wife and son were injured in an attack by wild elephants at Haluahati village under Sribardi upazila in Sherpur Thursday night.

A herd of elephants, numbering 30-40, came down the hills around 11:00pm and damaged a paddy field in the area, said Md Rezaul Karim, officer-in-charge of Sribardi police.

When the locals tried to ward off the elephants, they attacked them, leaving Abdul Hye, 70, son of Tonu Mandal, dead on the spot and his wife and son Israfil Mia injured, the OC added.
The injured were admitted to Sribardi upazila health complex.

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Sunday, August 27, 2017

A raging elephant ran over a Rohingya refugee in Bangladesh and was shot dead

Rohingya man breathed his last breath under the feet of a raging elephant entering a populated area in the Kutupalong camps in Bangladesh.

Arakan News Agency reporter said the raging elephant had demolished more than 3 Rohingya refugee huts and the local residents had fled, but this old man fell under his feet and could not escape.

The footage shows the elderly man with a swollen face with multiple fracture of his leg and other sporadic injuries.

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Saturday, August 26, 2017

Elderly Rohingya killed by wild elephant, 13 sheds smashed

One elderly Rohingya refugee was trampled by wild elephant and five others injured at Kutupalang Rohingya refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar early Sunday.

The wild elephants are also damaged some 13 shedes at Kutupalong makeshift refugees camp under.
The deceased is identified as Mohammad Sarif, 60, son of Ali Johar, Block-E/3 of Kutupalong makeshift refugee camp.

Mohammad Abul Khair, officer-in-charge if Ukhiya police station, said one wild elephant attacked Kutupalong makeshift refugee camp at about 1:00am Sunday. All the refugees were asleep.

He said first the elephant attacked Sharif’s shed. Sharif’s family members managed to flee but he fell victim of elephant’s wrath and died on the spot.

Later, wild elephant was damaged some 13 sheds on the same block.

Some five rohingyas including women and children were injured when they were fleeing. They were given first aid at camp clinic.

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Sunday, August 20, 2017

Elephant stampede kills tribal youth in Sherpur

A tribal young man was trampled to death by a wild elephant at Choto Gazni in Jhenigati upazila on Saturday midnight.

The deceased was identified as Polodaf Sangma, 28, son of Ronen Kubi of the area.

Locals said a herd of marauding elephants invaded Choto Gazni village in the upazila at about 12:00 am.

Villagers made an attempt to drive away the elephants by torching lamps.

At one stage, a wild elephant pounced on Polodaf and crushed him to death by trampling.

Later locals recovered the body.

Jhenigati Rangtia Range Officer M Kabir Hossain of the Forest Department confirmed the incident.

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Saturday, August 19, 2017

Freeze-dried dung gives clue to Asian elephant stress

"Collecting fresh faecal samples is not as easy as it may sound," says researcher Sanjeeta Sharma Pokharel.

But her efforts have helped scientists in India devise a unique, non-invasive way to monitor the physiological health of wild elephants.

The key has been freeze-drying dung in the field to preserve the elephant's hormones.

As a result, scientists found stress levels in females were more conspicuous than in male elephants.
Over five years, Sanjeeta and her colleagues collected more than 300 samples from 261 elephants in the biodiversity-rich Western Ghats area.

She explained her technique: "I used to hide and observe till the elephant defecated and moved away."

She told the BBC: "These samples mean a lot to me."

Ethical approach

The aim of the research was to evaluate the influence of the elephants' body condition on glucocorticoid metabolites.

Animals such as elephants are subjected to various stressors in their lives, with factors including threats from predators, food shortages, drought and illness.

To read the full article, click on the story title


Sunday, July 30, 2017

Rescued flood-odyssey elephant dies in Bangladesh

A tranquilized wild elephant lies on the ground after being pulled from a pond by Bangladesh forest officials and villagers in the Jamalpur district, some 150 km north of capital Dhaka.

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Injured elephant still lying

Injured elephant Rajlakkhi, undergoing treatment while lying on the ground at Ishobpur in Srimangal upazila of Moulvibazar, sees only a little improvement during the last few days as the local livestock department office lacks necessary equipment for treatment of injured animals.

An elephant, badly injured while getting down from a truck on July 14 night, is still lying in a field at Ishobpur beside Dhaka-Sylhet highway in Srimangal upazila of Moulvibazar.

The accident occurred due to alleged negligence of the men of the circus party that had rented it for a show.

“We are trying to treat the elephant with necessary medicines. But it will take time to recover,” Dr Md Ariful Islam, veterinary surgeon of Srimangal upazila livestock department.

“We have limitation as there is no X-ray facility for animals in Srimangal livestock department and Lawacherra Wildlife Rescue Centre.

“If X-rays could be done, it would help to properly identify the problem and provide the required treatment,” he said.

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Elephant kills navy man in Kaptai

A member of Bangladesh Navy was killed in a wild elephant attack in Navy road area under Kaptai upazila of Rangamati district on Monday night, reports UNB. The deceased, Shahadat Hossain, 40, was posted at BNS Shaheed Moazzem Training Base Camp in the district. Dildar Hossain, chairman of Kaptai Upazila Parishad, said a wild elephant, all of a sudden, swooped on Shahadat around 10:30 pm while he was returning his residence adjacent to the office through the road. He died on the spot. On information, the members of Bangladesh Navy recovered the body. On May 30, this year, an indigenous woman was also killed by an elephant attack on the same spot.

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Monday, July 17, 2017

Wild animals search for food in villages of Bangladesh's hilly regions

Elephants, monkeys and snakes have wandered into villages in Chittagong's Banshkhali, Sitakunda and Mirsarai at an increased rate this year.

The clearing of forests in the hills was threatening biodiversity and forcing animals to search for new sources of food, experts and forest officials have said.

A lone elephant came down from the hills to Kokdondi village of Banshkhali's Kalipur Union on Jun 23. "Our home and fruit orchard are very near to the hills," said Pulok Debdas.

"Elephants never used to come down here. But they came here nearly 27 times this year. They come alone, in pairs or in groups of six to seven."    

The elephants ravage the trees around the household to eat jackfruits, pineapples, bananas and also bamboo before returning to the hills, he said.

They can stay up to three days, and sometimes rest in the house's front yard, he said. "They are never disturbed here, so they don’t harm humans."
"I used to get scared at first, but not anymore," said Debdas.

Forest officials have been trying to convince locals to not clear banana plants which are the main sources of food for wild elephants, said Kalipur Forest Ranger Shahjahan Chowdhury.

"But the locals are shrinking their food sources by continuing to cut banana plants," he said, mentioning a plan to replant trees in the Kalipur hills.  

In Sitakunda, 40 to 50 monkeys ended up at the Sombhunath temple on Friday noon.

To read the full article, click on the story title

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Youth killed in Ctg elephant attack

A young man was killed and two others injured as a herd wild elephants attacked them in Bajalia area of Satkania upazila on Thursday morning.

The deceased was identified as Md Hossain, 28.

Locals said that a herd of wild elephants entered Bajalia area adjacent to a reserved forest a week ago but the Forest Department didn't take any step to drive them away.

When a group of villagers tried to drive them away in the morning, the elephants swooped on them, leaving Hossain dead on the spot and two others-Abul Kalam, 32, and Monzur, 18, injured.

Rafiqul Islam, officer-in-charge of Satkania Police Station, said police have been sent to the area.

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Elephant herd runs to greet orphaned baby elephant

Cameras captured the heartwarming moment when a herd of elephants ran to welcome their newest member – an orphaned baby elephant – Dok Geaw.

A shows a herd of elephants rushing to greet the one year and nine months old Dok Geaw who was orphaned when he was just four months old. Dok Geaw was welcomed into his new family with a lot of love.

As a rescue elephant, Dok Geaw was treated at the elephant conservation centre before being brought to the park. He is now getting used to his new life and having a good time with his herd. He is enjoying his first day in his shelter at the park, according to a global media report.

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Thursday, May 04, 2017

Farmer dies in Sherpur elephant attack

A farmer was killed while his wife and their son were injured in an attack by elephants at Balijuri Christian Para of Sribardi upazila in Sherpur early Sunday. The deceased was identified as Veruna Mrong, 40, of Balijuri Christian Para.

Quoting locals, Sribardi upazila nirbahi officer Khaleda Nasrin said: ‘A herd of elephants numbering 40-50 went down the hills to the locality in search of food early Sunday.’ ‘When locals tried to ward off the elephants, the mammoths attacked the house of Veruna, leaving the farmer, his wife and son injured.’ Severely injured Veruna died on his way to Sherpur District Hospital, added the UNO.

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Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Wild elephants face food crisis in Bangladesh belt

The Asian elephants are facing crisis of foods in Bangladesh belt. Often, the elephants come to the locality at Rangunia, Raojan, Rajostholi, Satkania, Lohagara, Banshkhali, Potia, Boalkhali in Chittagong and Chokoria, Ramu and other hilly areas of Cox's Bazar. The wild elephants use to damage  paddy fields and locality in search of food.

Besides, many times, the wild elephants killed people and villagers at hilly areas of Chittagong and Cox's Bazar. Moreover, villagers also killed many elephants when the wild elephants attacked on locality last years.

Meanwhile, the Chittagong district administration has taken step to create banana garden at the hilly areas for feeding the wild elephants. Deputy Commissioner of Chittagong Shamsul Arefin discussed the matter in the monthly meeting of Chittagong district law and order committee held at the Chittagong Circuit house last week.

 The meeting has taken decision to save the villagers of hilly areas from the attack of the wild elephants as well as the elephants from the attack of villagers. The meeting decided to send request to the Forest Ministry to create banana gardens at the hilly areas for feeding the wild elephants.

To read the full article, click on the story title

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

BJP raises pitch for restoring jumbo corridors

GUWAHATI: The BJP has raised the pitch for freeing land under various satras (Vaishnavite worship place) from encroachers and restoring elephant corridors across the state.

Among several resolutions taken at the BJP's two-day executive meeting which concluded on Saturday evening, freeing satra land from encroachers and conserving elephant corridors also figured prominently.

"The meeting thanked the state government for carrying out successful eviction drives against encroachers in Kaziranga and Sipajhar (Darrang district) since it came to power. The meeting decided to ask the government to take steps to free satra land from encroachers. Many plots belonging to satras are now under encroachment and the settlers have to be evicted," said BJP legislator Bhabesh Kalita.

Freeing satra land from encroachers is one of the electoral promises made by BJP and the meeting has reiterated the commitment it made to people in the run-up to the assembly polls.

Five years ago, the Northeast Policy Institute (NPI) said about 5548 bighas of land belonging to 26 satras were encroached upon by settlers of 'Bangladeshi origin.'


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Friday, December 16, 2016

2 killed in Cox’s Bazar elephant attack

A man and his son-in-law were trampled to death by wild elephants at Sapergara in Pekua upazila of Cox’s Bazar early Thursday.

The deceased were identified as Syed Ahmed, 60, son of Moniruzzaman, and Syed’s son-in-law Mohammad Alamgir, 26, son of Chan Mia, both residents of ward no. 5 under Shilkhali union of the upazila.

Quoting locals, of Shilkhali union chairman Nurul Hossain said a herd of wild elephants descended the nearby hill and started to damage freshly harvested paddy around 4:30 am.

As Syed and Alamgir tried to shoo off the elephants they were trampled to death by the mammoths on the spot, reports UNB news agency.

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Saturday, October 22, 2016

Wild elephant attack kills an old man

Sherpur Correspondent: An old man was killed by the attack of a wild elephant at Balijhuri village near border area of Ranishimul union in Shribardi upazila.

The accident took place on Sunday night around 10:30 pm. when the old man came out from home, at least 50 wild elephants came to the border area of Balijhuri village and attacked the old man. The man died on the spot.

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Elephant ‘trapped, electrocuted’ in Sherpur

Dhaka – A wild elephant reportedly died after getting electrocuted in a trap at Tawakucha village in Kangsa union of Jhinaigati upazila of Sherpur on Monday morning, UNB news agency reported.Quoting locals, Tawakucha beat officer of the Forest Department MD Ashraful Alam said the elephant died around 4.30am.

The reason behind death could not be ascertained. The elephant might have been died being trapped in an electric trap.

Earlier on October 1 last, an elephant was found dead in a paddy field in Panbor area of the village.
Meanwhile, nine people have been killed in separate elephant attacks in the upazila in last one and half month.

Recently, locals started using electric traps to prevent the straying of wild elephants into their habitation.

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Saturday, October 15, 2016

One killed in Sherpur in second wild elephant attack in two days

Wild elephants attacked and killed another person in Sherpur on Saturday, a day after they had killed three in the same area.

Early on Friday, three persons were trampled to death in Jhenaigati Upazila.

The latest victim has been identified 60-year-old Momena Begum, who was attacked in the border village of Tilaparha on Saturday, said Jhenaigati Forestry Department's Beat Officer Ashraful Alam.

“Around 2:30am on Saturday, a wild elephant charged into the victim’s home and trampled her to death,” he said.

In the past one month, wild elephants have killed seven people in the Jhenaigati border region, said Upazila administration chief (UNO) Md Selim Reza.

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