Solar fencing warding off wild boars in Bhitarkanika

Kendrapara: A solar fencing project is successfully warding off wild boars from straying into villages close to Bhitarkanika Wildlife Sanctuary, damaging crops and injuring people. "The project commissioned a year ago has been a success. The incidence of man-animal conflict in the sanctuary-side villages has now become few and far between," said Manoj Kumar Mahapatra, divisional forest officer, Rajnagar Mangrove (wildlife) forest division.

The solar fencing has a shock-inducing system due to a pulsating flow of current through it and acts as a deterrent for the wild boars when they try to enter villages. "Once the animals come in contact with the fence, it will jerk them with a mild shock. The shock induced blow would imbibe a fear psychosis in the animals and stop them crossing it. However, the pulsating solar current is entirely harmless and it does not cause physical injury or harm to them. The shock deters the animals from venturing into human habitations and crop fields, DFO said.

Attacks and vandalism by wild boars in human habitations have now dropped considerably since the state forest department brought a 5 km stretch of animal-infested corridors of Bhitarkanika national park covering Talchua to Rangani villages under solar-powered fencing barriers which has a shock-inducing system.

The straying of wild boars had become a common feature last year and the animals devoured crops besides injuring over 12 people. The menace was most during harvesting season, Mahapatra said. Elsewhere, the shock-inducing fencing has already been put to use in forest corridors and habitats to prevent straying pachyderms, bears and spotted deer. Warning boards have been put up cautioning people not to come near the live fencing, he added.