The Analyst (Monrovia)

1 November 2005

Liberia: Elephants Destroy Villages/Farms In G/Cape Mt.

Reports from Grand Cape Mount County in western Liberia speak of elephants have gotten on the rampage in several villages and towns in the County, destroying farms and breaking down villages leaving villagers to flee to safer zones.

Even though the reports are still been investigated, but some returnees from Cape Mount told newsmen over the weekend that over a dozen elephants from Belleh Forest were causing rural dwellers, who are mainly farmers, problems to go about their ordinary farming business as they continue to come under attack by these elephants.

Madam Julie Massalay, a mother of six children, along with her husband and others said the elephants have broken down several villages in Garwula District and other places, and destroyed several farms, something, they noted, was dangerous to their security and livelihood.

The returnees indicated that the rural dwellers have abandoned their farming activities because of the constant attacks by the elephants, thereby creating a severe farming problem for the people.

Besides destroying villages and farms, the returnees said, the elephants have engaged in blocking major roads that connect one village to another, but they added that no victim has so far been reported.

Meanwhile, the villagers are appealing to central Government to provide them with several single barrels and shots so as to allow hunters to fight the elephants so that they can return to their villages and begin to start their farming activities which is their only source of livelihood.

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