Of the world’s 40,000 Asian elephants, 10 percent live in the forests along the border of Bhutan and northeast India. So do millions of people. They coexist uneasily, with an expanding human footprint occupying the animals’ habitats and migration routes. Of particular concern are the region’s tea plantations: Elephants passing through fall into drainage ditches, are electrocuted by faulty fences, and are poisoned by eating fertilizers.

Farmers don’t necessarily want to hurt animals....


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