A herd of elephants devastated sorghum fields in the village of Dougani, Moulvoudaye district, in the Mayo Kani department, on the night of January 4 to 5. Local sources report that the pachyderms destroyed nearly 30 hectares of the crop, a staple food and trade commodity in the Far-North region. The incident has sparked outrage among the local population, as conveyed by the chairman of the damage assessment commission, the senior divisional officer of Moulvoudaye.
Elephants destroying the northern fields is a recurring issue, with similar incidents reported in at least six villages in the Mouvoudaye district as early as August 2023. Experts suggest that climate change-induced shifts in behavior are making cohabitation between humans and elephants increasingly challenging, as elephants leave their reserves in search of food.
The expansion of nature parks in the north, reducing human living space, coupled with a growing human population, further exacerbates the issue. The elephants involved in the Moulvoudaye incident are believed to have strayed from the nearby Waza and Kalfou national parks.
Authorities are currently grappling with finding solutions that ensure the safety of the elephants, a species protected under Cameroonian law, while also safeguarding the livelihoods of the local population.