The illegal occupants who grabbed more than half of the forest of Panerchhara and Dhoapalong range in the South portion of Cox's Bazar forest department were found directly involved with the killing of the elephants, a report said.
The report made 11-point recommendations including judicial probe and punishment of the perpetrators to save the forest and wildlife.
The report prepared following a shadow investigation on the recent unnatural death of elephants across the country was disclosed at a press conference on Tuesday at the Stamford University auditorium in the capital.
Bangladesh Prokriti Sangrokkhon Jote (BNCA), a platform of 33 environmental organisations, prepared the report.
In his presentation, BNCA convenor and environment scientist Ahmad Kamruzzaman said that more than half of the 13,065 acres of forest land at Panerchhara and Dhoapalong ranges in the South portion of the Cox's Bazar forestry was illegally occupied. But the forest department shows the occupied area only as 1202 acres.
Besides, several development activities under the public and private initiative are going on around that part of the forest which has destroyed the movement corridors and natural habitat of elephants confining about 40 elephants in 100 acres of the forest.
The brutal behaviour of people with wildlife surfaced in 2021. The rate of deforestation, grabbing of the rivers and canals and environmental pollution has increased alarmingly, the report said.
It further added that as many as 34 elephants died in 2021.
Professor Kamruzzaman said human beings have entered the movement corridors of the elephants, the elephants have not intruded into the human settlements. The forest department has completely failed to protect the elephants. The lack of activities of the forest department to protect the forest and wildlife cannot be supported.