However, it will allow other wildlife, people and cattle to pass through unhindered.
The Himalayan Tiger Foundation is working with the National Trust for Nature Conservation (NTNC), WWF-Nepal and the authorities of Bardiya National Park will test a new approach for keeping elephants and people separated.
Together with scientists from the University of Wageningen in the Netherlands they have developed an experimental electric fence.
It uses a single live wire, instead of multiple wires, at a height of 180 cm that allows people and cattle, but also deer, tigers, and rhinos to walk underneath it.
The idea is to stop the much taller elephants from going through but not other wildlife.
Hopefully it also prevents people from cutting fences because they can pass through unhindered.
It’s an excellent idea.
Whether it will work will largely depend on how well the scientists understand elephants and even more importantly how well they understand communities.
Fences only work where communities support and maintain them.
Getting this support is not easy.
Co-financing schemes appear necessary to create the required sense of ownership from communities.
Human-elephant encounters are costly to the community. A recent study showed that the total yearly elephant damage in the 5,000 ha project area is about US$ 35,000 – 50,000 in crop losses and damage to houses.
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