KATHMANDU, Feb 23: The Nepal Army has had to bear the loss of its personnel in various disasters including wildlife attacks at different times in the course of nature conservation. At a press conference organized by the Nepal Army on Tuesday, it was reported that 114 people have lost their lives in various incidents since the establishment of the National Park, Wildlife and Hunting Reserves in the country.
Himanshu Thapa, Chief of the National Parks and Wildlife Reserve Directorate of the Nepal Army, said that the personnel were killed in avalanches in Rasuwa, Ramche or Langtang areas and attacks by tigers and rhinos, scorpion bites and snake bites. Recently, a soldier was killed in an attack by the wild elephant known as Dhruve in Chitwan.
The army has been deployed in the field of nature conservation for four decades and has been making special contributions to endangered animals and nature conservation. The military's contribution to wildlife and nature conservation has been highly praised by the international community.
Twelve National Parks of the country including Chitwan, Bardiya, Khaptad, Parsa, Rara, Langtang, Shivpuri, Sagarmatha, Banke, Makalubarun, Shuklaphanta and Sheyphoksundo, and Koshitappu Wildlife Reserve, Dhorpatan hunting Reserve and Annapurna conservation areas have army personnel deployed for security. The army has been patrolling the area day and night with the help of elephants, boats, by foot, on bicycles, motorcycles and vehicles.
A total of 8,019 personnel including eight battalions of the army and seven corps and one academy are currently deployed in 14 protected areas, national parks, wildlife reserves and hunting reserves spread in 33 districts of the country.
Meanwhile, the number of endangered tigers and rhinos has doubled in the last 10 years due to the special contribution of the army in the conservation of nature and wildlife. According to the army, the number of tigers in Nepal has increased from 121 in 2009 to 235 in the 2018 census. Lately, the army has been engaged in a mountain cleaning campaign to maintain the glory of Nepal's mountains.
This year too, the army has continued the campaign to clean Mount Everest, Lhotse, Kanchenjunga and Manaslu. The campaign will be conducted for a month from April 5. It was shared that at least 35 tons of garbage will be collected from the Himalayan region during the campaign.