ITAHARI, Oct 27: The Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve is bringing drones into use to monitor the region in a better way.
The cameras will be in operation within a week, and it will capture photos of the area on a daily basis, according to Ramdev Chaudhary, chief conservation officer of the reserve.
“The reserve will monitor the region on a daily basis. In the initial stage, the reserve will hire technicians to teach its employees to operate drone cameras properly,” Chaudhary said, adding that the drone cameras will help monitor the movement of wild animals in the region, so human attacks by wild animals will also be reduced with the operation of drones.
Chaudhary further added that the sound of drone will deter elephants from entering human settlements. “The sound of drone is like that of bees, so it will help stop elephant entering the human settlement. The drone will help keep an eye on all wild elephants in the region,” Chaudhary said, adding that there are 17 wild elephants in the region.
As per the animal census conducted two years back there were about 441 wild buffaloes, 50 Nilgais, and more than 1,000 boars in the reserve. With increasing elephant attacks on humans around the Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve, the reserve, last week, had decided to shift the Hattisar (elephant stable) from the region.
After the residents of the Koshi Rural Municipality threatened to intensify their protest if the elephant stables were not shifted elsewhere, the Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve decided to shift Hattisar within a month.
On October 16, a resident of Suklaphata Municipality-1, Baldev Bohara, 70, was killed in an elephant attack when he was in a nearby forest to graze his cattle. Of late, residents living near the reserve area are terrified by elephant attacks. The wild elephants roam around the residential areas to eat paddy and corn. Currently, there are around 200 to 250 wild elephants in Nepal. Of those elephants, 15-20 are in Jhapa, 17 are in Koshi Tappu Reserve, eight in Sindhuli, and 45-50 in Parsa and Chitwan National Park. Likewise, more than 100 elephants are in Bardiya, and 25-30 are in Suklaphanta National Park.
A report shows around 15-17 humans are killed in elephant attacks in Nepal annually.