Conflict: Dogs in Bhim and some villages in Chumey, Bumthang have been preying on sheep.

Sonam Wangmo from Bhim said that the stray dogs have turned wild. “The moment we turn our eyes, they attack our sheep.” Villagers no longer leave their sheep on pastures like before.

The impact on sheep-rearing farmers could be serious. Sonam Wangmo said she had about 40 sheep a few years ago. Today, she has only 19 left. “I fear that the tradition of rearing sheep might vanish in a few years down the line if this continues to happen.”

Thinley Dema another resident of Bhim owns 53 sheep. She said dogs killed six of her sheep two weeks ago and a bear killed two.

Kinga Tsomo from Zhurey has 20 sheep. She said dogs and bears are the greatest danger to the sheep. “Bears break into sheds in the night when people are sleeping.”

She said that the number of stray dogs has increased in the village after the village was connected by a road.

Bhim, located some 15km from the Ura-Nangar highway, until recently used to be one of the most remote villages in the dzongkhag.

Nima Wangdi | Bhim