Neten Dorji

After wild dogs killed five cows recently, residents of Wogmanang chiwog in Bumdeling, Trashiyangtse live in fear of losing more livestock.

On one occasion, a group of feral dogs attacked the cowshed of Chador Wangmo, a villager of Wogmanang and killed seven cattle.

She lost five milking cows and two calves to the wild dogs. It was not the first time she lost cattle to wild dogs. Wild dogs killed two of her cattle on different occasions.

“This is not the first incident of wild dogs coming to our village and killing cattle. We witnessed many similar cases. This year alone, I lost seven cattle to wild dogs,” she said. “We are worried wild dogs might attack even people.”

Chador Wangmo and her family depend on livestock. She didn’t report any of the incidents as they do not get compensation from the wildlife sanctuary or the government.

Chador’s neighbour Yueden Wangmo, said that her cattle were sent to graze in the nearby forest and they were killed there. “We lose five to seven cattle to wild dogs every year,” she said. “We cannot control the menace at the local level.”

Villagers said that wild dogs frequently attack domestic animals and they face problems with other wild predators too.

“When herders take their cattle to graze in a nearby forest, foxes and wild dogs prey on the calves and cattle,” said an elderly woman, Kunzang Dechen.“The increasing number of wild animals in the area has made life difficult for those living in the villages.”

She said people are also not safe as wild animals loiter around the settlements day and night in groups.

“We are afraid that it might attack people, especially when going into the forest with livestock,” she said.

Residents said that if the situation worsens, they have to retaliate against the wild animals or stop rearing livestock.

“How will we survive if we cannot grow food and rear animals? However, we are out of solution to fight back,” said an elderly villager.

Bomdir-Wogmanang Tshogpa Pema Dorji said that wild dogs killed about 60 cattle last year.

“Most of the people depend on livestock and they bought cattle on loan,” he said. “There has been no attack on people so far. However, wild animals entered sheds and killed many cattle.”