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Elephants ransack Indian villages as habitat disappears

Desperate humans and desperate animals clash on migration routes

People run away from wild elephants near the India-Nepal border (Photo by Avijan Saha)

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

The anti-elephant blockade might be 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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