Solar fencing to contain rampaging wild boars

Kendrapara (Orissa), Jan 14 (PTI) To prevent theincreasing wild boar menace at villages surrounding theBhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary and subsequent retaliation byvillagers, the Forest department here has decided to ring thesanctuary with solar-powered fencing.

There has been, of late, a spate of killing of wild boarswho invade the villages to feed on crops and vegetable plantsresulting in a man-animal conflict.

The animals also in their turn chase and assaultvillagers whenever they see them in their vicinity. Over adozen persons are reported to have been attacked by theanimals recently.

"It is sort of a war of attrition," a Forest Departmentofficial observed.

The villagers had even taken some Forest Departmentpersonnel hostage to register their protest, alleging that thedepartment was lax in preventing the boars from straying intohuman habitations.

Forest Department sources said the shock-inducing fenceshave already come up in some forest corridors and habitats tokeep elephants at bay, but for the first time this will beused to hold off wild boars.

The mangrove forest cover within the sanctuary is home tothousands of wild boars - plant eating herbivorous animals.

But in the recent years, a sharp rise in their population hasemerged as a major worry for wildlife officials. (MORE) PTICORR SKN MDNIK

Manoj Kumar Mahapatra, Divisional Forest Officer of Rajnagar Mangrove (Wildlife) Forest Division, said, "For astart, solar-powered fencing will be erected along a five-kmforest stretch across the Talchua-Dangmal area".

As the forest in this area had maximum concentration ofboar population, the fencing would create a buffer, he said.

With a pulsating flow of current the solar fence wouldact as a deterrent for the wild boars by giving them a mildshock, the DFO said and allayed fears that the shock wouldcause physical injury or harm to the animals.

Besides keeping wild boars at bay, this would alsoprevent straying of spotted dear into the forest-side villagesas both the species love eating ripe grains.

"Our lives and annual crop yield are in danger as boarsare on rampage at villages. The people were forced to take lawinto hands to kill wild boars in self-defence," a group ofvillagers rued.

The DFO said that there was no provision for compensationfor injury due to boar attack and crop loss under the law, butstill the department has taken up the matter with higherauthorities so that affected farmers could receive crop losscompensation.

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