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Conservation 'tusk force': The Rohingya and the elephants

Conservation 'tusk force': The Rohingya and the elephants

War has devastating consequences. Not just on man-made infrastructure, but also on natural ecosystems.

But even amid the most vicious struggles, there are people fighting to protect the world we live in and help recover what was lost.

In August 2017, a brutal campaign against the majority-Muslim Rohingya began in Myanmar. The military and armed fighters killed more than 6,000 Rohingya in just one month. Thousands more were forced to flee violence and persecution in their home country. The scale of the exodus was enormous.

In neighbouring Bangladesh, some of the world’s largest refugee camps now house over a million mostly-ethnic Rohingya.

They reached safety, but they also faced another threat: Wild elephants – trying to follow their usual migratory route through the forests – rampaging through their camps, destroying tents, and even killing people.

“All the camps used to be forest, they used to be elephant habitat,” explains Raquib Amin, a representative of International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in Bangladesh. “Since the camp [was set up], [we are] completely blocking that corridor. Elephants cannot pass through.”

The elephants are critically endangered and need to be protected. But finding a way to allow the elephants to pass through while preventing further casualties has proven challenging.

earthrise travels to Kutupalong Camp in Bangladesh to find out how the Rohingya are learning to coexist with their elephant neighbours and how they are saving lives, both human and elephant, in the process.

Source: Aljazeera

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