Wild elephants stray into B'desh village, kill man

COX'S BAZAR, Bangladesh, Feb 9 (Reuters) - Wild elephants straying into a Bangladesh village killed a man, injured another and trampled several homes on Saturday, forest officials said.

The incident occurred at a village near Ramu, about 400 km (250 miles) southeast of the capital Dhaka, said an official of Bangladesh Forest Department.

Villagers, who were caught off guard, fled their homes, but later returned with drums and firecrackers to scare off the herd of around six elephants.

The elephants also devoured rice stocks, fruits and soft plants and destroyed some standing crops in the tiny village.

Attacks by elephant have become frequent in recent years, as their forest habitats shrink due to encroachment by people, forest officials say.

On average, 15 people are killed by elephants in Bangladesh each year.

One of the world's most densely populated nations, Bangladesh has forest cover of only 17.5 percent. There are around 400 elephants in the country -- including 300 in the wild. (Reporting by Mohammad Nurul Islam; Writing by Nizam Ahmed; Editing by Alex Richardson)