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force villagers to sleep in trees
Wednesday 28th March 2001.
Villagers in India are sleeping in treetops because they fear elephant attacks.
Families in Keonjhar in Orissa are now fighting over the shrinking treespace available.
Official figures say 49 people have been killed by elephants in four years.
Kartika Naik, of Tentuli village, said the elephants were protected. "When we kill elephants, the police handcuffs us. What about the elephants who kill us?" he said.
Five people were recently trampled to death by elephants, reports the Deccan Chronicle.
Forest officer Vikram Singh said elephants were attracted into villages by large-scale brewing of local alcoholic drink Handia.
But villagers claim it is the noise of nearby mining which aggravates the elephants, and forest fires threatening their habitat.
They say the answer is to grow ginger, turmeric and jute, which give off a smell repellant to elephants.
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