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Dhaka Tribune

Lathitila forest: Helpless elephant goes to villages for treatment

  • The animal has been sick for 4-5 months
  • Forest office says will take urgent steps
  • No male elephant in Lathitila reserve forest
Update : 27 May 2024, 09:22 PM

Locals in Juri Upazila in Moulvibazar have spotted a wild elephant that comes to the residential areas from the nearby Lathitila reserve forest regularly. They say the mother elephant is sick and needs medical attention, which is why it is coming out of the forest every now and then. 

However, after failing to get any help, the mammal goes deep into the forest again.

A local who saw the elephant recently said the animal has been found sick for about 4 to 5 months. Its health has deteriorated during this time.

“We informed the Forest Department about the elephant's illness about two months ago. I don't know if the authorities have taken any effective action regarding the matter,” he told Dhaka Tribune.

Latithila is the only forest in Sylhet division and there are only four mother wild elephants. Now one of them is dying due to lack of treatment. This is how elephants disappear from the forest, locals said.

The image shows the wild elephant in Lathitila reserve forest. Photo: Dhaka Tribune

They also said that there are no male elephants in this forest. As a result, the number of elephants is not growing. And if this continues then there will be no elephant in the forest in few years time. If this sick mother elephant is not treated quickly, the elephant will surely die, they fear.

Elephants are decreasing day by day due to various reasons, including a crisis of habitat. Everyone needs to be more vocal about protecting the animals, the locals said. These elephants used to spend most of their time in the Surma Bash Mahal area of the forest. Their main food was bamboo, which was available there. But now there is enough food in the forest, and the elephants roam around in Lathitila.


Lathitila forest area is spread over 5,631.30 acres. It is a part of the Indo-Burma Biodiversity Hotspot. Wild elephants are playing an important role in protecting this forest. If these elephants become extinct, a large part of the forest will be damaged. 

Local resident Tahid Rahman said that the elephant has been sick for a long time. The elephant's body showed several wounds. Even if it is chased back to the forest, it returns to the locality again and again. Perhaps it is leaving the forest due to lack of food. 

Nazmul Hussain, officer of the Juri forest range, said: “We know that the elephant is sick. It requires the help of the Wildlife Management and Nature Conservation Division (WMNCD). We don't have the system to administer medicine to the elephant through a tranquillizer. We will provide maximum cooperation if the WMNCD arranges treatment for it.”

WMNCD’s Sylhet Divisional Forest Officer Dr Jahangir Alam said: “We have received the news that the elephant is sick. Meanwhile, urgent steps are being taken to treat the sick elephant.”

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