Herd of elephants destroy solar electric fence poles in S/J

Conflict: A herd of elephants destroyed wooden poles meant to install solar electric fences in the villages of Khamaythang and Phuntshothang on March 18.

No injuries and major damages were reported.

The incident took place last Friday night when about 20 elephants including three of its calves entered the two villages and started destroying the poles.

The herd also destroyed scores of betel nut trees in most of the villages.

A house did sustain damage from the herd but it was unoccupied at the time as its occupants had moved following an earlier attack. At least one other house was damaged.

One of the villagers said the herd of elephants destroyed around 23 poles and about 100 metres of wire in Phuntshothang chiwog while almost 70 poles and about 300 metres of wire were damaged in Khamaythang.

Khamaythang Tshogpa Karma Tenzin said they had installed poles and were waiting for the wires and other materials to install the solar electric fence.

“We’ve reported the matter to the gewog, we’re also trying to reinstall the poles,” he said. “The solar fence once complete will benefit about 85 households.”

Villagers were finally able to chase off the elephants yesterday evening. Both the villages are prone to attacks by wildlife.

A farmer, Gomthay, said they used torches and metal to make sounds and chase away the elephants.

“They kept roaming around villages. But fortunately we are yet to begin cultivation so no crops were damaged.”

Meanwhile, the farmers said this was not the first time the village had come under attack and that it was high time the solar electric fence be completed.

Yangchen C Rinzin,  Samdrupjongkhar

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