Four Asian elephants killed in a week in Bangladesh

Grey adult elephant with two baby elephants in water
Asian elephants bathing in river, photo: sal73it via Canva

At least four Asian elephants have been killed by humans in Bangladesh over the past week, officials said Sunday. Three elephants were electrocuted, and one was shot dead.

Less than 300 elephants remain in Bangladesh, where they come into regular conflict with humans because their territory is getting smaller.

“Four elephants died in Chittagong division alone since last week,” forest department official Rafiqul Islam Chowdhury told AFP. He said two elephants had been electrocuted, and a third was shot in a forest reserve. A fourth elephant also died by electric shock in northern Sherpur, police there said.

For generations, elephants have used the Chittagong hills as a route for migrating back and forth from neighbouring Myanmar. But farming, urban expansion and refugee camps housing about a million Rohingya refugees from Myanmar have reduced their territory.

In the past 18 months, twelve elephants have been killed across Bangladesh. Farmers use live electric wires along their perimeters to keep out grazing elephants.

Asian elephants are listed as endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List.

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