Rise of  incidents involving  boars: Human-wild boar conflict

People, farmers and motorists are at risk, but no proper solution has been found to tackle it. Animal lovers say killing them is no solution but what can be is anyone’s guess

Published: 25th February 2022 02:34 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th February 2022 02:34 AM   |  A+A-

Image used for representational purpose only. (File Photo)

Image used for representational purpose only. (File Photo)

Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Human-wild boar conflict is turning into a matter of serious concern in Thiruvananthapuram district as road accidents, crop destruction and attacks by the wild animals go up.

Several places in the district including corporation wards are facing incidents involving wild boars. Pothencode has turned into a major hotspot in the capital as road accidents are becoming a regular affair. Several incidents of wild boar attack or them colliding with vehicles have been reported in the area in the past few weeks causing severe injuries to people.  

Abhilash Balakrishnan, who was travelling from Kochi to Thiruvananthapuram late at night a few weeks ago, had a harrowing experience between Chempakamangalam and Pallippuram. “It was near midnight and there were not many vehicles on the road. When we were on that stretch where both sides are empty land which has only creepers and bushes, three huge dog-like creatures ran across the road. Though I applied the brakes, the car hit one of those. I stopped and got out only to see an injured wild boar that was looking at me angrily. After a few moments, the injured boar ran away,” he said. His car got seriously damaged as the boar was huge in size. “The bumper and fog lamps needed to be replaced,” he said. 

Like what was faced by Abhilash, several road incidents involving motorists and two-wheeler riders had happened recently and many suffered serious injuries. Last year, a farmer lost his life in the district following a wild boar attack.

Pothencode grama panchayat president T R Anil Kumar said wild boar menace is becoming dangerous for the residents. “People going out for jogging often face danger and we are getting a lot of complaints almost every day. Manalakam, Vengode, Nethajipuram, Vavara Ambalam, Ayiroopara and Karoor are the places in Pothencode facing threat from wild boars,” he said. 

“Road accidents are becoming a regular thing and the wild boars which get killed lie on the road for hours. It’s a protected species and we have no authority to bury or dispose of the carcasses. Even if we call the forest authorities, they arrive only several hours later,” said Anil Kumar. He said farmers are suffering huge losses because of wild boar raids.  

According to forest officials, the authorities have identified around 20 hotspots in the Palode forest range, which covers a major chunk of the district.

“We are flooded with complaints from local bodies and farmers. There are ‘jagratha samithis’ under local bodies and they meet often to discuss wild boar issues. We list these places as hotspots and make interventions in compliance with the current directions of the state and Central governments,” said a forest official.

The official said there are deserted hilly areas and abandoned quarries in the places where wild boar menace is getting reported. “Their population multiplies in a short span. They move during the night as a pack and that is when such road accidents happen,” the official said. 

126 wild boars killed in Palode range since 2020 

As per the order issued by the state government in 2020, the forest department can kill wild boars destroying agricultural crops and farmlands using licensed guns. Following this, the forest authorities have constituted a panel, which has around 10 accredited shooters, to deal with wild boars. Since 2020, the forest department has killed around 126 wild boars in the Palode range alone and 86 shootings happened since January 1, 2021.  

“There are several conditions for killing wild boars and we don’t shoot wild boars in the 2km buffer zone of the forest area,” said an official of the forest department.

Despite a rise in incidents across the state, the Kerala Forest and Wildlife Department is yet to launch a scientific study on reasons why the wild boars are leaving the forest and invading farmlands for food. Latha Indira, secretary of People for Animal (PFA), said this is not a scientific way to tackle wild boars. “They have not carried out a study on the wild boar population. There might be a reason for this. Maybe, there is a decline in the predator population and we have to launch a study and find more friendly solutions to tackle the situation,” said Indira. She said in many places, people are setting traps for catching wild boars and it’s used as a delicacy.

“There is absolutely no monitoring on such violations. The government wants to protect farmers and draw up policies in their favour, but it is ignoring the protection of wildlife. The farmers facing destruction are cultivating tuber crops and this is one of the reasons attracting wild boars to human settlements. One way is to cultivate crops other than tubers,” said Indira. She said PFA is getting several calls relating to domestic animals falling into traps set for wild boars.

“Venjaramoodu is one such area and traps are getting set illegally for catching wild boars. Unfortunately, domestic animals including dogs fall into these. Killing is not at all a solution. In Kozhikode recently, we offered to take care of baby wild boars which entered a house. But they refused to take our help and both the wild boars were shot dead,” she added.

Dealing with wild boars

  • As per the order by the state government in 2020, the forest department can kill wild boars destroying agricultural crops and farmlands using licensed guns
  • 126 wild boars were shot dead in 2020 in Palode region
  • 86 shootings happened since January in 2021
  • The forest dept has constituted a panel with around 10 accredited shooters to deal with wild boars attacking farm lands


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