A herd of 17 wild elephants at Chairmanpara village in Rangamati Sadar destroying fruit orchards and paddy fields almost every night for the last few days. PHOTO: STAR
A herd of 17 wild elephants is making life miserable for around 200 families at Chairmanpara village in Sadar upazila of the district.
The elephants come to the village at night, destroy paddy fields and fruit orchards and leave before daybreak.
Locals said the elephants have already destroyed crops and many orchards of banana, coconut, papaya and litchi at the village.
Unable to counter the animals, the terrified villagers spend sleepless nights amid fear of attacks by the wild elephants.
Villagers said they have repeatedly urged the forest department to protect their lives and property by driving the wild elephants away from the area, but to no effect.
Contacted, Abu Hanif Patwary, conservator of forests in Rangamati, said: “If elephants destroy farmland, orchards or attack human habitation, we have nothing to do. As per International Wildlife Law, we cannot kill or capture any elephant”.
While visiting Chairmanpara village recently, Subankar Chakma of the village said at least 2000 pineapple plants at his orchard were damaged by the elephants.
Hitlar Dewan, headman of Jibtoli Mouza, said a list of the affected families is being prepared for giving them compensation. Forest officials should take immediate measures to save lives and properties of the villagers, he added.