Each year between 150 and 160 elephants are shot dead or poisoned by farmers across Sri Lanka. Between 40 and 60 people are trampled to death, and the numbers are gradually rising.

Wild elephants and farmers are killing each other at an alarming rate in Sri Lanka, so hundreds of wildlife officers and villagers fanned out into forests on Monday to find ways to broker peace.

Hundreds of Sri Lanka’s 3,500-strong elephant population are straying into human areas in search of food and water because of deforestation and drought, and farmers like P.M. Abegunawardana are desperate to keep them away from his remote village in northwest Sri Lanka.

Abegunawardana lost last year’s bitter gourd crop to trampling elephants – then his brother was killed by a rogue elephant.

He spends every night in a treehouse watching over his land to scare off the animals with firecrackers, and fears for the lives of his family.

More here.