Villagers in Assam get respite as hanging fence deters jumbos


Elephants in Assam might have lastly run right into a barrier past their means to bulldoze — a solar-powered hanging electrical fence.

Camera lure information present the elephants trying unsuccessfully to enter areas close to eight villages, which lie on the fringe of a 350 sq km reserve forest that was added to the Manas National Park in 2016, on at the least 59 of the 65 events that the pachyderms had been sighted since October 14, 2019. The elephants, nonetheless, did handle to cross the fence with out damaging it on eight events, because of a sudden discharge of the batteries powering it round midnight.

But the villagers, who’ve borne the brunt of the elephant-man battle, aren’t prepared as but to name the most recent barrier successful. For that, they’d reasonably wait to see how the fence performs through the monsoon months forward.

The core space of Manas is about 140 km west of Guwahati.

“There have been experiments with electric fences earlier to prevent elephants in the jungles from raiding the houses and the farmlands of the villagers leading to large-scale damage and loss of human lives,” stated Brojo Kumar Basumatary, a area sociologist of Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) based mostly in Chirang district’s Panbari.

“We undertook the hanging fence project in October 2019 and completed it in February this year. We planned it for more than the existing 5 km but could not go ahead because of restrictions associated with the COVID-19 pandemic,” he instructed The Hindu.

The earlier challenge entailed stringing a solar-powered fence between two bizarre 7 toes tall poles, set 10 metres aside.

Elephants, nonetheless, would incessantly uproot them for gorging on the granaries in the villages.

The hanging fence includes sturdier metallic poles with a robust cable strung from the highest. Wires organized three toes aside dangle from this cable with out touching the bottom for letting smaller animals as much as 1 foot tall go.

The wires carry a median 9-kilovolt cost, the utmost being 11 kilovolts.

“The wires are non-lethal,” stated Bhaskar Choudhury, regional coordinator of WTI. “An elephant coming in contact gets a mild shock that works as a deterrent. And because of the hanging design, elephants can neither break the pillar nor slam the wires with tree branches,” he added.

Three community-based committees have been entrusted with nearly equal stretches of the fence. These are essentially the most strategic of the eight villages dominated by the Bodo, Koch-Rajbongshi, Assamese and Bengali communities.

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