Tidal water from the Bay of Bengal threatens a few thousand jhau trees (tamarisk) as they may collapse anytime due to gradual exposure and damage of roots.
Around a thousand trees fell into sea water during tidal surges at the time of full moon in three months since last July, locals and forest officials said.
During a visit on September 24 from Sea-in point to Samitypara of Nazirartek, it was found that a large number of trees of the five-kilometre forest had tilted on the sea shore as their roots came out of sands.
This correspondent visited Nazirartek, Samitypara, Niribili Cottagepara, diabetic hospital point, Kabita Chattar, Shoibal hotel and Laboni point areas where locals also alleged that a gang with the connivance of a section of forest guards was also looting the trees.
The gang has been buying each tree at Tk 500-800 each, they said.
However, refuting the allegation, forest official Tapos Dev of Cox's Bazar Sadar range said they recovered more than 500 damaged trees from the sea water in the last three months.
He said, it was impossible to protect and look after such a big forest with the help of only four temporary forest guards.
Forest official of South Range Abdul Awal stressed the need for materialising the Cox's Bazar town protection dyke project to save the 'important' forest from the onslaught of the sea.