172 wild animals killed

Banke, August 4

Protection and conservation of wildlife is becoming a challenging task in Banke National Park mainly due to the East-West Highway and the Sikta Irrigation Project canal that pass through the park.

Many protected wildlife are hit by passenger vehicles and trucks passing through the 72-kilometre stretch of the highway from east Shivakhola to west Kohalpur. Likewise, eight kilometres of the canal constructed for Sikta Irrigation Project falls in the park territory, which has also posed a serious threat to wildlife.

A total of 172 protected wild animals are reported to have been killed on the highway in the past three years. The highest was reported in the fiscal 2017/18 — 68 wild animals died after being hit by vehicles passing through the highway in the park territory, according to the data provided by the park authorities. It was 42 and 61 in 2015/16 and 2016/17 respectively.

“It is very difficult to stop wild animals’ movement on the highway,” said chief protection officer at the park DilBahadur Purja. We need to come up with a strategy to address this matter.

Conservationist Krishna Chaudhary suggests building animal-friendly infrastructure.