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A struggle of coexistence: men vs elephants

Location: Bangladesh

On the Northern part of Sherpur District at Jhinaigati and Nalitabari upazila in Bangladesh bordering India lies some cultivable plain land near Meghalaya and Garo hill tracts and forest. To meet the needs of food for the increasing population; more and more hills are now being cut flat to cultivate crops. Also continuous deforestation are resulting in scarcity of food in the wilderness for wild animals in the Meghalaya hill areas as well as Garo Hills.

A herd of elephants on their way to farm land from their natural habitat through a rice field they already demolished

These factors has resulted in an unforseen phenomenon where the wild elephants and marginal farmers are in a face to face conflict for food.

Every year during harvest season, herds of wild elephants invade the farm lands in search of food and farmers do what they can to save their crop on which their livelihood depends. In this conflict, many farmers lost their crops before they could harvest; in some cases elephants even demolished their homes, many even have to abandon their homes at night and stay at other’s home at safe distnce or even stay awake on the fear of being attacked. Often farmers are being chased by angry wild elephants while working on farm land; many gets injured, some really unfortunate ones face even death.

This ongoing conflict has raised many questions with very few answers.

Farmers trying to save as much crop they can at the evening on the brink of an invation of elephants at night
A lady showing her demolished crop lands
A man is seen locking his door at afternoon and flee on fear of an elephant invasion
A demolished home
A farmer broke his leg trying to get away from angry elephant attack
An young man showing photos of his deceased father who was not fortunate enough to escape an elephant attack.
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Ayman Nakib

Ayman Nakib is a travel, documentary photographer based in Bangladesh. He also enjoys street and candid style of photography works. He started his photography… More »

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