A video, of an elephant barging into the Army Cook House in Binnaguri in Jalpaiguri district of West Bengal, has been doing the rounds on social media. In the video, the calm elephant can be seen rummaging through the storeroom, possibly in search of food. The video that has been shared by Susanta Nanda, an IFS officer, says, “Difficult times for the gentle giant.”

Binnaguri, which is a cantonment town located quite close to the Bhutan border, is not new to such incidents. Owing to the presence of tea gardens and forests in the Dooars area, wild animals are often found to be passing through these places.

It goes without saying that there is an elephant in the room, literally and metaphorically. With the rising loss of habitat due to rampant deforestation, it is only natural that man and animals will compete for natural resources. Owing to man’s high-handedness, it is often the elephants that end up in casualty. In Binnaguri, elephants have died in the past after being hit by trains, while passing through their traditional routes. It calls for some action ensuring safe passage for wild animals in the areas they thrive.

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