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In the early years of the eighteenth century, wild elephants were abundant throughout the eastern and northwestern divisions of Rangpur northeast where they frequently raided the crop fields. Several landholders kept tame female elephants as decoys for capturing these wild elephants. In some places elephants were occasionally caught in pits. This was a bad method, because the animals were frequently seriously injured by the fall into the pit.
Elephants were also sometimes hunted and killed for ivory. In Rangpur, elephants were owned by many large landowners or zamindars. In former times a large number of elephants was captured annually and given by the zamindar to the government as payment of land revenues.
This practice, however, was later discontinued and the revenue was then invariably paid in cash. Some paid their tributes to the East India Company in elephants. There was a very high mortality rate among these tribute elephants. Out of seventy or eighty captured every year, only seven or eight arrived at Rangpur. Thus, later, the tribute was required to be paid in cash. About a hundred years ago, elephants were still abundant in most of the forests of Bangladesh, even in the Madhupur forests near Dhaka the capital of Bangladesh.
In fact, there is a road in Dhaka called Elephant Road, which was used by elephants brought from Peelkhana,  a royal elephant stable, located to the northwest of Azimpur, in Dhaka. There is also an area in old Dhaka called Mahouttuli, a locality where the mahouts of Peelkhana lived. The principal non-military function of elephants was to remove logs cut from deep inside the forests.
But eventually the British transferred their regular elephant-catching operations from Dhaka to Myanmar in , because of the depletion of herds in the Garo Hills as a result of excessive capture. Elephants were captured by use of a kheda an enclosure constructed to capture wild elephants for domestication. This indigenous device was first used in Bangladesh in The Forest Department used it from to Large numbers of elephants were captured for domestication during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries in Bangladesh Table 1.