During the week, the herd, which includes at least 13 elephants, demolished a concrete wall to enter Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib safari park, north of the coastal town of Cox’s Bazar.
“They were very agitated and afraid and they reacted as if they were trapped,” explained Mazhar Islam, the park manager. “At the moment, they are very dangerous to other animals and to our visitors,” he added.
The park houses more than 1,300 animals, including Bengal tigers, hippos, and other endangered species. About 5,000 people visit the place daily in winter.
“We are very concerned about the visitors to the park,” the official added. “The night rides are getting more and more complicated because the elephants are very anxious and react aggressively,” he explained.
Fewer than 100 wild elephants live in this South Asian country, where shrinking habitats and diminishing access to food are causing increasing conflict with humans.
Another park official reports that the elephants are afraid of the increasing expansion of farmland, as well as the deaths of more than 10 members of their herd in the past two years.
He added that the lack of food pushes the elephants into the rice fields, where they are often electrocuted on electrified fences.
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