Tea gardens along Bhutan border install non-lethal electric fences to keep elephant herds away


GUWAHATI: Several tea gardens in Udalguri and Baksa districts situated near the Assam-Bhutan border have installed electric fences to keep wild elephant herds at bay as pachyderms continue to enter human settlements in search of food and water.

Tea estates are adopting desperate measures to deter wild elephant herds from entering garden areas and paddy fields by installing these electric fences. These fences use non-lethal direct current through a solar-powered battery to keep elephant herds away.

Authorities of several tea gardens, including the Bhutiachang tea estate and the Nagrijuli tea estate, have covered their gardens with electric fences.

Meanwhile, several villages along the Indo-Bhutan border continue to suffer from regular elephant depredation with a herd of around 70 to 80 wild elephants coming out of the Tamulpur forest range in search of food and water almost regularly and enter nearby villages.

Villagers say they have been passing sleepless nights as elephant herds continue to unleash terror; destroying crops, banana plantations and razing down houses. More than a hundred people have been killed in violent conflicts between men and elephants in Baksa and Udalguri districts in the past couple of years.