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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