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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Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Man killed in elephant attack in Sherpur

A farmer was trampled to death and two others injured in an attack by wild elephant at Bakura area in Jhinaigati upazila of Sherpur on Monday night.

The deceased was identified as Bachhiram Chambugong, 60, son of Kantram Sangmar of the area.

Jahirul Islam, chairman of Kangsha union parishad, said a herd of elephants numbering 60-70 went down the hills around 7:30pm and damaged a paddy field in the area.

When the locals tried to ward off the elephants, the mammoths attacked the them which left Bacchiram dead and two others injured. Acow was also killed during the confrontation.

With the latest incident, death toll due to wild elephant attacks in Kangsha union over the last one month rises to four.

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Monday, October 10, 2016

Tamed elephant dies of electrocution in Ctg

A tamed elephant that escaped from a group of three was electrocuted in Hathazari upazila of Chittagong last night.

When the mahout with the three elephants came from Kaptai area, one of them got separated, reports our Chittagong correspondent quoting Chairman of the union, Bakar Siddique.

At one stage, one of the separated elephant went into a rampage at a village in Maddhaquaish village of Shikarpur union around 7:00pm yesterday, the chairman said.

The elephant attacked the thatched house of one Abul Malek before it came in contact with live electric wire after colliding with an electric pole, he said.

The process of body recovery was underway, the correspondent reports quoting Jahangir Alam, assistant conservator of Forest of the Bangladesh Forest Department.

Another elephant among the three also escaped and was roaming at Burishchar union of Hathazari upazila, the forest official said.

However, the whereabouts of the mahout could not be known yet.

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Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Wild elephants kill 2 villagers, injure 3 in southern Bangladesh

OX'S BAZAR, Bangladesh - Two wild elephants have killed two villagers and injured three in a remote village in southern Bangladesh.

Forest Department official Sheikh Abdul Wahab said a man and a woman were killed separately early Wednesday in Uttar Para village.They attacked while villagers were either asleep or were preparing their dawn meal before their daytime Ramadan fast.

Wahab said 22-year-old Amena Begum was attacked outside her house and was unable to get inside. The man was killed while on his way to a mosque alone.

Villagers said the elephants stayed in the village while ignoring blank gunshots fired by forest officials. Elephants often go into villages searching for food or after being disturbed by illegal loggers.

Uttar Para is in a coastal district bordering a forested region of Myanmar.

Two elephants killed, one injured by goods train

Two elephants, including a tusker, were killed and another injured after being hit by a goods train in Keonjhar district of Odisha early today, official sources said.

A herd of elephants was crossing the railway track in Champua forest range area when they were hit by a wagon carrying coal from Paradip to Jamshedpur, a senior forest official said.

While a tusker and a female pachyderm died on the spot, an elephant calf was injured after being flung into a ditch near the railway track, Champua forest ranger S Mishra said.

The driver of the goods train, Gautam Patel, has been arrested and the train detained at Jurudi railway station, he said.

Keonjhar DFO Ajay Kumar Jena and other senior forest officials rushed to the site after the mishap.

Train movement on the route was disrupted for a long time as the carcasses were lying on the track.

Two other elephants were killed after a train hit them recently in the same area, the sources said

Press Trust of India / Keonjhar (Odisha)

Banished from their homes

Man-animal conflicts are on the rise across the country, because wild animals are being increasingly pushed out of their habitat by human activities. Their departure has exposed our forests and water sources to destruction
In 1967, a wild tigress from the Chandaka forest on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar walked into the Nandankanan Zoo nearby, lured by the calls of a male tiger in one of the moated exhibits. It jumped in to join him, surely unaware that there was no way out. The tigress — later named ‘Kanan’ — lived on in the zoo. Predictably the Press went to town about “the wild tigress who voluntarily chose captivity.” For the State forest department it was a bonanza, for the then fledgling zoo got a new ‘free’ tiger. Few thought of the only, lonely tigress who had simply responded to the call of her own. She was the last wild tiger in Chandaka.
The forest, however, continued to be a refuge for elephants, leopards, sloth bears, jungle cats and a host of bird species, and was declared the Chandaka-Dampara Wildlife Sanctuary in 1982, intended to protect elephants and serve as Bhubaneswar’s ‘green lungs’. Over time, the dynamics of the city and the forest have changed. Bhubaneswar today bears little semblance to the quaint capital built in 1948. In its vision for the coming decades, Odisha aims at transforming the Chaudwar-Cuttack-Bhubaneswar-Khurda urban conglomerate into a metropolis that will replace Kolkata as the ‘hub of the east’.
Going full throttle to achieve this vision, the region has seen rapid, and ill-planned expansion which has isolated Chandaka Bharatpur forest, a part of the Chandka sanctuary juts into the city and has practically been severed from the rest of the sanctuary. Gated colonies, large institutes (Bhubaneswar has over a 100 engineering colleges, plus a number of management and other institutes) and tech-parks have come up in between, leaving a few elephants trapped permanently inside the 10 sq km degraded, weed-ridden scrub that is Bharatpur today.
Until 2002, Chandaka had over 80 elephants living in its 190 sq km area. Conflict was a perennial problem in the villages around, and became more severe as the city grew. The relatively new suburbs of the city sometimes had their residents jolted out of prime time TV when a herd of elephants would show up on their driveways. Crackers, crowds, mobs and mayhem invariably followed — sometimes with tragic results. The elephants had nowhere to go; they got little sanctuary in Chandaka. Overgrazed by cattle and exploited for firewood, the habitat itself was turning increasingly unsuitable, even hostile. Villagers had encroached, and when the elephants raided their fields, they were riddled with shotgun pellets. Wounded, over time some elephants died a slow, painful death.
In 2002-2003, a herd of over 20 elephants migrated out of Chandaka in a southerly direction — a route never in history known to be used by them. They crossed the busy four-lane NH-5 just outside Bhubaneswar and made for Barunei Hill, moving onwards, traversing villages, cultivation, the Tangi-Ranpur ‘Mal’ forests and into the relatively well protected Barbara reserve forest — traditionally not known to harbour elephants.
When Chandaka deteriorated further, especially post 2006, more herds followed. The desperate, bewildered elephants were on the run, hounded by mobs and harassed by terrified villagers. Some reached Chilika, a few fell by the wayside, succumbing to sheer exhaustion. Reportedly, only about 20 of the original 85-odd elephants now survive in Chandaka. The ‘emigrants’ are now constantly on the run — from one conflict situation to another, across southern-coastal Odisha, where neither can the forests support them, nor are the farmers used to elephants.
Conflict has intensified to such an extent in southern coastal Odisha now, that the State’s forest department has deployed almost its entire force of captive elephants as ‘kunkis’ in the region to contain the conflict. The elephants are running out of space, and out of time. Yet, there is hope.
Two years ago, a herd of elephants from across the Mahanadi came to Chandaka — and went back again after a short stay, proving that old corridors linking Chandaka to the gene pool of the Mahanadi Elephant Reserve, which also includes the Satkosia Tiger Reserve, through the Athgarh and to the Kapilas Hills, still exist. Since then, a few more herds have begun using this route. If Chandaka is protected, its habitat restored and the villages inside it rehabilitated, it can once again be a safe haven for elephants.
It is equally critical to protect the fragile links of this forest to Athgarh and Kapilas for the long-term persistence of elephants in this landscape, and to address and minimise conflict. Interestingly, elephants from the Athgarh-Chandaka region were considered the most ‘robust and strong’, and were much coveted as war elephants.
Saving Chandka and elephant corridors requires a consistent effort, commitment and a tremendous amount of will, but surely in a country where the elephant is worshipped as Ganesha, and in a State where elephants are deeply rooted in ancient culture, this should be the priority.
The decay of Chandaka and its wildlife is a reflection of the larger picture of our ‘protected areas’, particularly those which have the misfortune of neighbouring a city. Hardwar and Rishikesh are crowding Rajaji National Park, which must also bear the brunt of the ancillary development of the capital, Dehradun, a mere 35km away. Dachigaam National Park is a jewel on the outskirts of Srinagar, with the expanding capital pressing in. Conflict with black bears has reached worrying proportions —  a bear was burnt alive when it ventured into human habitation in 2006. Ratapani, once the hunting grounds of the nawabs of Bhopal, is fragmented by highways, railway lines and the swell of the capital.
Reports of a tigress with cubs in outskirts of Bhopal have been doing the rounds since last year. Gurgaon has bulldozed the forests of the ancient Aravallis — and with it has gone the unique biodiversity that these hills supported. Water, a gift of the Aravallis, has vanished too. The Aravalli hills are a critical groundwater recharge system in this otherwise arid north-west of India and contain the catchment of Damdama, the last remaining major perennial lake here.
The Punjab and Haryana High Court had wondered on August 1, in response to a PIL, “Where will the next generation go if we extract the complete groundwater?” And therein lies the logic of saving Chandaka and its elephants, Dachigaam and its hangul, Ratapani (and Rajaji) and its tigers.
Not only does wilderness provide us precious intangible values, but it is the key to our water and ecological security, and to also our future.
(The author is a member, National Board of Wildlife.)

Friday, May 08, 2009

Wild elephants crush three in Bangladesh

Independent Online
April 22 2009

Dhaka - Wild elephants trampled to death three people, including two children, in far south-eastern Bangladesh as they were collecting firewood, media reports said on Wednesday.

They were trampled on Tuesday at Teknaf hill near the Bangladesh-Myanmar border, 374 kilometres south-east of the capital, Dhaka.

Two of the victims died on the spot when the elephants crushed them after knocking down while the third victim succumbed to her injuries at a nearby health complex, said Yunus Sheikh, a vice-chairperson of the Teknaf subdistrict.

Elephant attacks in Bangladesh have become a fairly regular phenomenon as their forest habitat dwindles because of human encroachment.

According to the World Conservation Union, an average of 40 people are killed by elephants each year in Bangladesh, which is home to about 400 elephants.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Wild elephants kill two in Bangladesh village

Reuters
Aug 6, 2008

COX'S BAZAR, Bangladesh, Aug 6 (Reuters) - Wild elephants straying into a village killed a woman and her baby along Bangladesh's border with Myanmar, forest officials said on Wednesday.

The elephants also destroyed two houses and damaged crops on Tuesday at remote Tulatali village, about 500 km (310 miles) southeast of the capital Dhaka, they said.

Officials said there were about six elephants, an endangered species in Bangladesh, in the herd.

Including the latest victims, 11 people have been trampled to death and several injured by elephants in the hilly Bandarban district along the border over the past two months, police said.

Attacks by wild elephants have increased in recent years and forest officials blame the loss of forest habitat because of encroachment by the country's growing number of people.

One of the world's most densely populated nations, Bangladesh has forest cover of only 17.5 percent. There are around 400 elephants in the country -- including 100 in captivity.

For the full article click on the story title

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Wild elephants kill 4 in Bangladesh hills

The Times of India
11 Jul 2008

DHAKA: A herd of wild elephants on Friday trampled to death four members of a family in remote southeastern hills prompting over 100 families in the area to flee for safety, officials said.

Four members of a farmer family, including two minors, were killed while asleep at their thatched house when a herd of around eight elephants strayed into their remote village at Lama area of Bandarban hill district.

The herd also levelled four households and several rural shops. More than hundred families in the neighbourhood fled their homes as the elephants had killed another person at the same village just a week ago, a police official said.

A local reporter said he had reported 18 deaths from elephant attacks in the past two months in Lama area as wild elephants come down to villages in search of food, targeting harvested heaps of paddy and banana gardens.

To read the full article click on the story title


Monday, May 05, 2008

Wild elephants kill children in Bangladesh villages

Reuters
Apr 28, 2008

COX'S BAZAR, Bangladesh, April 28 (Reuters) - Two children were trampled to death and a man maimed as straying wild elephants destroyed two villages over the last 24 hours in southeastern Bangladesh, officials said on Monday.

A girl was killed and six bamboo houses flattened as elephants ravaged a village near Cox's Bazar district town, 400 km (250 miles) from the capital Dhaka on Monday.

A boy was killed and a man seriously injured when wild elephants strayed into another village in the same district on Sunday. Five houses were levelled by the rampaging elephants.

In both the attacks, the villagers fled their homes but later returned with drums and firecrackers to scare off the herds of wild elephants.

Attacks by elephant have become frequent in Bangladesh in recent years, as their forest habitats shrink due to encroachment by people, forest officials say.

On average, nearly 20 people are killed by elephants in Bangladesh each year.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Wild elephants stray into Bangladesh village, kill man

Reuters
February 9, 2008

COX'S BAZAR, Bangladesh, Feb 9 (Reuters) - Wild elephants straying into a Bangladesh village killed a man, injured another and trampled several homes on Saturday, forest officials said.

The incident occurred at a village near Ramu, about 400 km (250 miles) southeast of the capital Dhaka, said an official of Bangladesh Forest Department.

Villagers, who were caught off guard, fled their homes, but later returned with drums and firecrackers to scare off the herd of around six elephants.

The elephants also devoured rice stocks, fruits and soft plants and destroyed some standing crops in the tiny village.

For the full story click on the blog title


Friday, January 25, 2008

Elephants kill man, destroy homes in Bangladesh

Reuters
Jan 24, 2008

COX'S BAZAR, Bangladesh (Reuters) - One man was killed and another injured in attacks by wild elephants that strayed into villages and trampled homes and crops in Bangladesh, police said on Thursday.

They said the elephants stormed into different villages near a forest about 400 km (250 miles) southeast of the capital Dhaka on Wednesday.

The victims were working in their fields when the elephants came out of the forest, witnesses told police.

Attacks by elephant have become frequent in recent years, as their forest habitats shrink due to encroachment by people, forest officials say.

On average, 15 people are killed by elephants in Bangladesh each year.

One of the world's most densely populated nations, Bangladesh has forest cover of only 17.5 percent. There are around 400 elephants in the country -- including 300 in the wild.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Wild elephant kills one in northern Bangladesh

Reuters
January 11, 2008

DHAKA, Jan 11 (Reuters) - A wild elephant straying into a village trampled a man to death and injured at least 15 people in Bangladesh on Friday, police and forest officials said.

The incident occurred at a village in Lalmonirhat district, 350 km (215 miles) north of the capital near the Indian border.

"The elephant apparently broke from its herd and lost its way and entered the Bangladesh village from nearby Indian forest," one Lalmonirhat police official said.

Elephants, an endangered species in Bangladesh, kill 15 people on average annually in the South Asian nation, where in recent years their forest habitats have shrunk due to encroachment by the rising human population.

One of the world's most densely populated nations, Bangladesh has forest cover of only 17.5 percent. There are around 400 elephants in the country -- including 100 in captivity.

Monday, December 31, 2007

Wild elephants kill 4 people in Cox'sBazar

The New Nation
December 28. 2007

A group of wild elephants, came down from the hilly terrain, today killed four people including a mother and two children at Eidgaon area of Sadar Upazila under the district.

The angry elephants also damaged eight households in Satgharia Para of West Gazalia of Islamabad union in the same Upazila.

The elephants were hungry and became mad, according to the experts of the Department of Forest.

Police and the local residents said the elephants at first attacked the house of Mojaher Mia and his wife Sakera Begum, 32, and his three years old child Abdul Aziz were trampled to death under the feet of the elephants. The elephants also ransacked the home of neighbouring Syed Alam and killed his six month old daughter Sabekunnahar.

In the afternoon, the wild elephants killed Julia Begum, 60, wife of Kader Hossain at the village Villagea Para of the Islampur union under the same Upzila. Locals are now under panic due to rising fierceness of the wild elephants who are becoming more angry for absence of food in the jungle.

Experts say, the number of wild elephants are alarmingly falling in the region due to extreme inhabitable condition. They often come down to the plain lands for food.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Wild elephant kills one, injures two in Bangladesh

People's Daily Online
August 26, 2007

A wild elephant rampaged through a village in Bangladesh's Chittagong district, 264 km southeast of capital Dhaka, early Saturday, killing a girl and injuring two others.

Locals was quoted by private news agency UNB as saying the elephant came down from a nearby hill and tore through the house of Omar Faruq at Chunati village around 6 a.m. when the victims were asleep.

The elephant stampeded Faruq's daughter Halima Begum, 19, to death and injured his granddaughter Minhaj, 8, and relative Sanwara Begum, 35.

Hearing their screams, villagers rushed in and used torches to scare away the elephant.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Wild Elephants Trample Two Sleeping Boys To Death In Bangladesh

Siddique Islam, All Headline News
June 24, 2007

Sherpur, Bangladesh (AHN) - Two tribal boys were killed in an attack by wild elephants from across the border at Panihata village under Nalitabari upazila of the country's central district Sherpur on Saturday, officials and locals said.

A herd of eight wild elephants coming from the Indian state of Meghalaya entered the bordering area and attacked the house of Ilias Sangma at the village at around 4:00 a.m. (local time) when the family members were asleep. The elephants damaged the house and trampled Ilias' two sons--Faruque Sangma and Bipul Sangma -- to death.

According to reports, the elephants also damaged three other adjacent houses and uprooted a number of trees. Oftentimes herds of wild elephants march from across the border and attack the villages.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Woman trampled to death by wild elephants

Daily Star
June 11, 2007

Wild elephants trampled a tribal woman to death at village Dhopajuri in Haluaghat, a frontier upazila of the district on Saturday night.
The victim was identified as Alpana Chirang, 25, wife of Abdul Khaleque.

Alpana fell victim as a herd of wild elephants from across the Indian border entered the village at around 11:00pm and started ransacking the houses to eat stored paddy, police and locals said.
Alpana's one and a half year-old daughter was also injured.
Later the villagers chased the elephants away

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Wild elephants kill two villagers in Bangladesh

Reuters
22 May 2007

COX'S BAZAR, Bangladesh, May 22 (Reuters) - Wild elephants trampled two people to death and destroyed 20 bamboo homes when they strayed into a Bangladesh village on Tuesday.

The herd of some 10 elephants also uprooted trees and damaged crops in Mithachhari, near Cox's Bazar town, 400 km (250 miles) southeast of the capital Dhaka.

Police said some seven people have been trampled to death by wild elephants in the last two months at Cox's Bazar district alone.

Records show that at least 15 people are killed by elephants in Bangladesh each year.

Elephants stray into villages as their forest habitats shrink due to encroachment by the rising human population, forest officials say.

One of the world's most densely populated nations, Bangladesh has forest cover of only 17.5 percent. There are around 400 elephants in the country -- including 300 in the wild.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Rampaging elephants kill villager in Bangladesh

Reuters
16 May 2007

COX'S BAZAR, Bangladesh, May 16 (Reuters) - Wild elephants straying into a village trampled a man to death and destroyed 30 bamboo-made houses in Bangladesh on Wednesday, police and forestry officials said.

The attack by the elephants occurred at Eidgaon, near Cox's Bazar town, 400 km (250 miles) southeast of the capital Dhaka.

Crops were damaged and trees uprooted as the herd of some 10 elephants strayed into the village from a nearby forest.

At least 15 people are killed by elephants in Bangladesh each year as their forest habitats shrink due to encroachment by the rising human population, forest officials say.

One of the world's most densely populated nations, Bangladesh has forest cover of only 17.5 percent. There are around 400 elephants in the country -- including 300 in the wild.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Elephants kill two Bangladeshi children

Independent Online
April 18 2007

Cox's Bazar - Wild elephants straying into a village trampled two nine-year-old children to death in southeastern Bangladesh on Wednesday, police and forestry officials said.

The victims, a boy and a girl, failed to escape when a herd of elephants swooped on their village near a forest at Ramu, 430km southeast of the capital Dhaka.

The elephants also destroyed five houses, uprooted trees and demolished standing crops.

To read the full story click on the link in the blog title


Monday, April 09, 2007

Bangladesh elephant dies in fight with another

March 23, 2007
Reuters

A century-old elephant died after a rare fight with another elephant in a Bangladesh forest, officials said on Thursday.
Forest officials retrieved the dead elephant, a male around 100 years old, and conducted an autopsy which suggested it died of injuries inflicted in a clash with another male.
"The two tusks, each weighing 15 kg, were chopped off from the dead elephant and will be preserved, but the body has been buried," said Avoni Kumar Tagore, a forest official at Cox's Bazar, 400 km (250 miles) southeast of the capital Dhaka.

To read the full story click on the link in the blog title

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Number of elephants decreasing fast

By Sheikh Arif Bulbon, The New Nation
February 25, 2007
The number of elephants is alarmingly decreasing in forests of Cox's Bazar and Teknaf, where once one-third of elephant population of the country was found, due to undue pressure of deforestation and increasing of human activities in forest areas.
According to the last census of the World Conservation Union (IUCN), there are only 30 to 35 elephants in forests of Teknaf and Southern Cox's Bazar regions.
The Teknaf Game Reserve is one of the five protected areas where the Forest Department has initiated the co-management approach situated at Damdamia in the south of Cox's Bazar. The Game Reserve provides a vital sanctuary for a wide variety of wildlife, especially elephants. It was established in 1983 under the Wildlife Act of 1973. It was previously Teknaf Reserve Forest. It includes an area formerly referred to as the Thainkhali Game Reserve (7,770 hectres). Currently it covers an area of 11,615 hectres, making it the third largest protected areas after Sunderbans and Pablakhali Wildlife Sanctuaries. Day to day management activities by the Nishorgo Support Programme (NSP), a protected area management programme, are carried out from two ranges namely Teknaf and Whykong.
Raquibul Amin of IUCN said, "During 1980s the Reserve contained about half of the mammals and one-third (101) of the elephant population of the country. Many wildlife have already been on the verge of extinction and elephants are in high risk of extinction not only in Bangladesh as well as in Asia due to the loss of forest cover, loss of corridor and the forest fragmentation."

For the full story click on the blog title

Saturday, December 02, 2006

2 Killed in Attack of Elephants

The Daily Star
December 2, 2006

Unb, Jamalpur

Two people were killed by wild elephants in Dewanganj upazila of the district yesterday and the day before.

Shaila Begum, 50, of Chitalidighar village came under attack by a herd of wild elephants while she was collecting firewood at about 9:00am yesterday. She died instantly.

For the full story click on the blog title

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Wild elephants rampage through village, kill one

Wild elephants rampage through village, kill one

The Associated Press

A herd of wild elephants rampaged through a northern Bangladeshi village, damaging crops and homes, and killing one elderly man, a news report said Thursday.

The incident occurred late Wednesday in Sherpur district, 144 kilometers (90 miles) north of the capital, Dhaka, the United News of Bangladesh agency reported.

To read the full story click here or on the blog title