During the week, the herd, which includes at least 13 elephants, tore down a concrete wall to enter the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib safari park, north of the coastal town of Cox’s Bazar.
“They were very agitated, scared and reacted as if they were cornered,” explained park manager Mazharul Islam. “Right now they are very dangerous for other animals and for our visitors,” he added.
The park has more than 1,300 animals, including Bengal tigers, hippos and other endangered species. About 5,000 people visit the place every day in the winter season.
“We are very concerned about the park’s visitors,” continued the official. “The night rounds are getting complicated because the elephants are very restless and react aggressively,” he explained.
Fewer than a hundred wild elephants live in this South Asian country, where their shrinking habitat and dwindling access to food is causing growing conflict with humans.
Elephants are frightened by the growing expansion of farmland, as well as the deaths of more than 10 members of their herd, killed in the past two years, according to another park official.
Lack of food pushes the elephants into rice fields, where they are often electrocuted on electrified fences, he added.