Wild elephants kill two villagers in Bangladesh

 
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COX'S BAZAR, Bangladesh, May 22 (Reuters) Wild elephants trampled two people to death and destroyed 20 bamboo homes when they strayed into a Bangladesh village today.

The herd of some 10 elephants also uprooted trees and damaged crops in Mithachhari, near Cox's Bazar town, 400 km southeast of the capital Dhaka.

Police said some seven people have been trampled to death by wild elephants in the last two months at Cox's Bazar district alone.

Records show that at least 15 people are killed by elephants in Bangladesh each year.

Elephants stray into villages as their forest habitats shrink due to encroachment by the rising human population, forest officials say.

One of the world's most densely populated nations, Bangladesh has forest cover of only 17.5 per cent. There are around 400 elephants in the country -- including 300 in the wild.

REUTERS SM VV1246

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