Chitwan, October 25
Prastav Subedi of Madi municiplaity-10, Diwanagar, remained busy chasing wild tuskers during Dashain festival in Chitwan. Subedi is not the only person who spent most of his time chasing away tuskers instead of enjoying the festival with family.
The locals remained under constant fear of tusker attack as elephants from the Chitwan National Park entered human settlements and damaged houses and crops ready for harvest. The locals had no option but to keep vigil throughout the night.
According to Narayan Datta Sapkota, chairman of Chitwan National Park Buffer-zone Consumers’ Committee at Gardi, at least two houses at Bhairabpur were damaged. Locals have started patrolling the locality after elephants started wreaking havoc on human settlements.
Besides, the locals move around carrying torches and hitting plates during the night. He said elephants run away at the sound of siren installed on the tractor.
Prabhu Sah, chairman of Chitwan National Park Buffer Zone Consumers’ Committee at Baghauda, said wild tuskers, which enter human settlements in the evening return to the park before dawn. A tusker had claimed six lives in the area two years ago. The elephant has been terrorising the locals in Madi area during the harvest season almost every year.
Tika Ram Poudel, assistant conservation officer and spokesperson at Chitwan National Park, said park officials, security force and locals had been helping victims chase away the tuskers. Though the national park area has been fenced with barbed wire from all sides the tuskers manage to escape the park. According to the national park, the locals remain in constant fear of tusker attacks as wild elephants in groups of around 30-40 also come from India’s Balmiki tiger reserve during the harvest season.
A version of this article appears in print on October 26, 2015 of The Himalayan Times.