Nepal | July 06, 2020

More people dying in wildlife attacks

Himalayan News Service
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Next of kin of a person killed in animal attack gets one million rupees

Kathmandu, August 18

Number of people dying in wild animal attacks has increased by more than 75 per cent in fiscal 2018-19, compared to the total number of deaths recorded in fiscal 2017-18 across the country.

As many as 30 persons died in wildlife attacks in fiscal 2018-19, which is much higher compared to 17 human deaths in fiscal 2017-18. In 2016 -17, a total of 12 people had lost their lives in animal attacks and nine people died in animal attacks in 2015-16.

Data of the last four fiscals from 2015-16 to 2018 -19 showed that number of human deaths resulting from wildlife attacks had increased by more than 230 per cent.

Number of people injured in animal attacks has also significantly gone up in the last four years. A total of 137 persons were injured in wild animal attacks in fiscal 2018-19, which is an increase of around 105 per cent compared to fiscal 2017-18 when 67 persons were injured. As many as 43 people had sustained injuries in fiscal 2016-17 and a total of 34 people were injured in fiscal 2015-16.

Data showed that in the last four years, number of people sustaining injuries in wildlife attacks increased by more than 300 per cent.

In 2018-19, 15 persons had died in elephant attacks, six in leopard attacks, four in tiger attacks and two in rhino attacks.

Deputy Director-General of Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation Ram Chandra Kan-del said improved data collection and recording system had helped to keep a record of deaths caused by wildlife attacks. He claimed that people also lost lives in attacks by wild boars, dogs and oxen, but the data did not show such deaths.

Spokesperson of DoNPWC Bishnu Kumar Shrestha said they were adopting various measures to make national parks and wildlife conservation areas safe for humans. He said they were also thinking about ways to stop wildlife from straying into human settlements.

“We are also planning to organise awareness pro-grammes to help people avoid possible encounters with wildlife,” he added.

The government has pro-vision to provide one million rupees next of kin of any persons killed by wild animals. It also has provision to provide Rs 200,000 to people injured in wild animal attacks or bear full medical expenses for their treatment at government hospitals.

The government provides compensation for the loss of food, agricultural products and other property caused by wild animals conserved at national parks or in other protected areas. The DoNPWC is authorised to provide compensation to the victims of wild-life attacks throughout the country from the last year. Previously, Regional Forest Directorate provided compensation to the victims of wildlife attacks. The DoNPWC has provided Rs 86.084 million as compensation to wildlife attack victims and their families in the past six months.

A version of this article appears in print on August 19, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.

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