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Man versus elephant on India's border with Nepal

Raids escalate as electrified fence disrupts pachyderm migration

People chase away wild elephants near the Indian-Nepal border. (Courtesy of WWF)

MECHI RIVER, India-Nepal border -- Most frontier barriers are erected to prevent humans from breaching national boundaries, but along India's northeastern border with Nepal an electrified fence has been built to stop a different kind of intruder -- hungry elephants. The consequences have proved disastrous for thousands of Indian villagers.

The anti-elephant blockade is probably unique, but the conflict it illustrates is being waged daily across India and a dozen other Asian countries as humans continue to destroy forests and grasslands where elephants thrived for centuries, driving the intelligent mammals to raid crops, demolish dwellings and kill people.

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