Diverted from their traditional migration route through the Terai-Dooars belt by a 17 km long fence along the border at the Mechi river - an increasing number of elephants are finding their way onto farmland & Sonia Jabbars tea estate. The threat of human-elephant conflict is very real but on the 1200 acre Nuxalbari tea estate they receive a warm welcome. This is no ordinary tea estate - in a black tea market beset with high yield low value teas Sonia is focused on quality ; honouring the soil, tea bushes, trees & community ; a community that includes elephants. Sonia explains ?The elephants know how to move in between rows of tea. Had it not been so, my estate wouldn't have survived? With so little forest cover left in the area this approach is critical to their future.
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