Mostafa Kamal Majumder
The death of another wild elephant in Sherpur on Tuesday is an alarm signal, because this is the third wild elephant killed in a couple of months. Earlier two elephants were killed in the Cox’s Bazar area.
As reported by news agencies the ill-fated elephant was found dead. Picture showed it lay flat on a forest road. Old elephants or seriously ill elephants nromally get deep into forests to find place of final rest, not come out to the open road, as in the present case.So the evidence more than abundantly clear that the elephant has been killed. The other day a Garo tribal man was reported killed by a herd of wild elephants in the Sherpur area. This is not to say that the elephant was killed in retaliation, but to indicate that its death has not been normal.
Many wild elephants including rhinos are now in extinction in angladesh. Leopards once found all over are hardly seen. Only tigers and spotted are known to have a sanctuary in the Sunderbans, although latest census has shown that their numbers have shrunk from 400 to 100 in just a decade. Barking deer is disappearing from the hilll districts, so is the case with Neelgai.
Elephants definitely cause harm to local farmers coming down to their crop fields from time to time as they probably do not have enough to eat inside the forests.
And forests are reducing in size every year as trees are felled to turn into croplands in this land-scarce country. Where then the elephants shall go? Are they destined to be eliminated like the rhinos?
Apparently two herds of wild elephants are there in Sherpur and the hill districts. In the past – even two decades ago – these herds were found roaming about in the forests of Bangladesh seasonally and get back to the dense forests in nearby Tripura, Manipur and Nagaland states of India. This transboundary movement of the poor elephant herds in Banladesh has been obstructed by the barbed wire fences that have been erected at border.
In once sense it is good news we have very indigenous herds which are full Bangladeshi elephants and cannot migrate without permits or come back at will. They have to manage their livelihood in our shrinking forests.
From the part of the wildlife circle of the Forest Department one thing should be ensured that adequate shrubs are allowed to grow or planted inside the forests that the elephants have enough to eat and do not have to come down to crop fields to fill their stomachs.
After all these large animals are attractions to people and can help the growth of tourism too.
UNB reported: A wild elephant was found dead at Halchati border point in Jhinaigati upazila on Tuesday morning.
Jhinaigati Rangtia range officer of Sherpur divisional forest department Jakaria Ahmed said locals found the corpse of the elephant in the area in the morning and informed them.
Later, the forest department officials recovered the corpse of the elephant.
The cause of death of the elephant could be confirmed after receipt of autopsy report, said Jakaria Ahmed.- UNB
Mostafa Kamal Majumder