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64 elephants trapped near Rohingya camps

WT24 Desk

At least 64 elephants have been trapped on the western parts of Ukhia Rohingya camps in Teknaf, a roundtable was told on Thursday, UNB reports.

Roaming around in only 50 square feet area, the poor animals are believed to have been suffering from lack of food and water.

The concern was expressed at the roundtable on ‘safety and protection of hills and animals’ held under the aegis of Cox’s Bazar district administration and local Forest and Environment Preservation Department at deputy commissioner’s office.

A total of 118 elephants live in Cox’s Bazar among Asian residential Bangladeshi elephants numbering 268, according to a report placed at the event. The said 64 elephants are among them that live in Ukhia.

Now 1.1 million Rohingya refugees are residing in and around the close vicinity of wild elephants resulting in closures of elephants’ corridor.

The area of elephants was surrounded by Rohingya camps on three sides while remaining side is faced towards the Bay of Bengal, the discussant told the roundtable.

They suggested forming a monitoring cell to rescue the wild animals and coordinate activities of local and foreign NGO in this regard.

Deputy commissioner Md Kamal Hossain said, “We are conducting drives against hill cutting, recovering hill cutting materials from Rohingya houses and taking action against the NGOs supplying such materials.”

To rescue the trapped elephants measures will be taken soon, he added.

Additional deputy commissioner Ashraf Hossain, assistant refugee, relief and repatriation commissioner SM Ishtiak Shahriar, Cox’s Bazar Development Authority representative Jahangir Alam, and local environment department assistant director Saiful Ashrab addressed the roundtable among others.

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