August 13, 2021 03:59 PM NPT
ITAHARI, August 13: The number of cases related to man-elephant conflict in areas surrounding the Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve is on the rise.
A 55-year-old Ramekhang Khatwe of Koshi Rural Municipality-4 in Sunsari was killed after a wild elephant attacked him on Thursday.
As many as 48,421 people from 14,865 families reside around the area surrounding the wildlife reserve. Routine attacks from wild elephants have created havoc among the people living in the region.
According to the record maintained by the Wildlife Reserve Office, four deaths were recorded last year from elephant attacks. The attack from the wild animal has taken yet another life this year.
The wild elephants move around in herds. There are currently 15 wild elephants in Koshi Tappu Wildlife Reserve and around 200 to 225 wild elephants in Nepal.
The wildlife reserve is stretched around Sunsari, Saptari and Udayapur, covering 175 square kilometers of the area. Although electric fences are stretched along the reserve to stop the wild elephants from entering human settlements the work to secure the fences in Saptari and Udayapur area is still unfinished. Officials said a 25-km long stretch of electric fence has been already established in Sunsari.
Experts have pointed out the need to introduce effective government programs to improve the relationship of people living in settlements around the wildlife reserve and the wildlife reserve administration to ensure the protection of wild elephants and reduce loss of human life. As a number of human settlements around the area are dependent on agriculture, the destruction caused by the elephants to farmlands have resulted in man-animal conflict around the region.