Bangla fencing to keep M’laya jumbos away (Bangladesh)


The Shillong Times

Date Published

Bangladesh is fencing the hillocks near Garo Hills to stop infiltration of a different type.

The forest department of the neighbouring country is using electric wires to cordon off the hillocks adjacent to Sherpur on the border near Garo Hills to prevent elephants straying into the villages in Bangladesh.
The elephants come from Meghalaya and enter border areas in Mymensingh, Sherpur and Jamalpur and destroy properties and crops, reports say.
Wildlife experts say cross-border movement of elephants is hampered by border fencing because many areas are within the elephant corridor. The animals are forced to divert their route through human habitat. Over 50 people were killed and more than 500 injured in elephant attacks in these areas of Bangladesh so far. Twenty elephants were killed in counter attacks as well, according to official figures.
To avoid the frequent man-animal conflict, the Bangladesh forest department has decided to fence the areas. It is also using more than 100 acres of land to plant saplings so that the elephants find food.
The fence is being constructed along 18 km in the elephant territory. The electric wires are powered by solar power.
Few Garo families who live on the border had to leave their homes due to elephant attacks. The remaining 3,000 families are also ready to migrate.
Bangladesh will also talk with India’s forest authorities as the elephants mostly come from Meghalaya. In fact, the countries are working on a plan that will ensure that jumbos can cross the international boundary with ease. Trans-boundary conservation and safe cross-border migration of elephants is one of the agenda of Indo-Bangla cooperation.