Karnataka to use steel wires to stop jumbos from straying out of forests

The Karnataka Forest Department will for the first time use a steel wire fence instead of solar or rail barricades in the Nagarhole Tiger Reserve to prevent elephants from venturing outside the forest

Published: 14th February 2022 11:23 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th February 2022 11:23 AM   |  A+A-

elephants

Representational Image

Express News Service

BENGALURU: Elephants have outsmarted all methods tried in the past by the Karnataka Forest Department to keep them confined inside wildlife sanctuaries and national parks and prevent them from straying into human habitats. But now the success achieved by Tamil Nadu foresters in the Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary near Hosur is going to be replicated in Nagarahole Tiger Reserve (NTR) soon.

The Karnataka Forest Department will for the first time use steel wire fences instead of solar or rail barricades in NTR to prevent elephants from venturing outside the forest.

“In this method, elephants do not get a sturdy base to stand or rest on. The steel ropes will bounce back and this will confuse the animal. The elephant will not get any grip to climb over the ropes. We have got permission from our higher authorities to implement it in Nagarahole. Now, we need to find manufacturers of such ropes,” D Mahesh Kumar, Director, NTR, told The New Indian Express. 

The steel ropes will be similar to the ones used to make bridges and will be first tried on a 5-km stretch in Veeranahosahalli range of NTR, where there is a problem of human-elephant conflict.  The steel ropes are also cheaper than rail barricades.

According to department officials, a km of rail barricade costs Rs 1.2- 1.3 crore, while the cost of steel ropes installed by Tamil Nadu is just Rs50-55 lakh per km. 

Over the years, foresters have tried different kinds of barricades like chilli-tobacco rope fences, solar fences, barbed wires, trenches with moats, rail barricades and even honeybee fences to keep elephants inside forests. But the jumbos have found ways to cross the barricades.

“We have observed through camera traps elephants breaking solar barricades with logs, climbing over rail barricades and throwing water on chilli-tobacco barricades and escape,” explained a forest department official. 



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