Phub Dem | Haa

Wild boars have been wreaking havoc in the settlements of Haa, forcing villagers to stay up all night guarding their potato and wheat fields.

The villagers of Uesu gewog say wild boars enter their fields every night and the animals are not scared of the people anymore.

It is the fourth time Choki from Bangyena planted potato seeds. The next day, half of her seeds were gone, and the other half was scattered all over the place.

Although almost all the villages are circled with electric fencing, it does little to stop the wild boars.

As a desperate measure, some farmers use live electric wires to drive away from the wild pigs. “Although risky, it works. We have no other option.”

The situation is no different in the four upper gewogs of Haa.

Tshering Wangchuk from Talung was felling trees for fencing poles after his wheat field was ransacked two days ago.

He said that the electric fencing effectively prevented deer and other wild animals but not the wild boars.

The residents of Talung have stopped growing potatoes on a commercial scale due to human-wildlife conflict.

Tshering Wangchuk said that the wild pigs encroach the fields at night and destroy crops. “Every year, we lose 40 percent of the crop to the wild animal.”

With the start of the growing season, the potato growers stay awake the whole night, driving away wild boars.

Earlier this year, a man was attacked by a wild boar towards evening while he was returning home. He escaped with a minor injury in the leg.

Kinley said that wild boars even enter kitchen gardens in the village.

As the farmers cannot harm the animals due to conservation restrictions from the forest department, Tobgay said that the only option was to build galvanised chain links around the fields, but this is expensive.

Bji Gup Passang said that the wild boar was becoming a growing concern in the village.

Without a crop insurance scheme and many restrictions, he said that the farmers were at a loss.

He said that while the government emphasised agriculture, there was a need for proper intervention rather than advising farmers on dos and don’ts.