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Wild elephants trample rice fields in Pegu Township


Herds of wild elephants have destroyed no less than 200 acres of rice paddies in 50 villages in Pegu [Bago] Township over the past three months as they forage for food.

Mass timber production in the region, which lies just 50 miles north of Rangoon, has caused severe deforestation, resulting in many wild animals, including elephants, abandoning the forests to search for new habitats closer to villages.

Local farmers have reported to the local NLD representative that herds of between four and 20 elephants venture toward built-up areas mostly at night and trample through rice fields as they search for plants, legumes and grasses.

“If the elephants are few in number they wait for night time,” said a farmer from Htan Thaw Gyi village. “However, if there are 10, 15 or more of them in a herd, they are not afraid and will come into the villages during the day and often ransack barns.

No injuries or deaths have been reported.

“It began in October,” said another local farmer. “We farmers reported the matter to the village officials who in turn asked for assistance at township level. However, nobody has come to investigate or fix the problem.

“Apart from making campfires and clanking pieces of iron together to make a noise, there’s little we can do to stop the elephants,” he said.

A forest official said that the local authorities had “been cooperating with the timber companies to mitigate against the potential danger from wild elephants.”

There are currently two elephant conservation camps in Burma: one in Mandalay and another in Rakhine State.

Pegu’s Department of Forestry has said it plans to open an elephant camp in the Yoma Myout Zardari forest area.


Related articles:

http://www.mizzima.com/edop/features/7594-brutal-illegal-elephant-trade-documented-in-burma.html

http://www.mizzima.com/edop/features/5662-burmese-wildlife-not-just-humans-victims-of-war.html
Last Updated ( Wednesday, 19 December 2012 16:58 )  

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