Jhapa in eastern Nepal has a wild elephant problem – or a human-elephant conflict we may say.
About 152 km area – from south-east Kachankawal Rural Municipality to east-north Mechi Municipality’s Bahundangi has been announced as the Elephant Corridor – an area where wild elephants would encroach and cause huge damage to property, crops, and even human casualties.
Earlier, in 2018, Province 1 government had announced a 60 million package to appropriate the stretch of forest land and river banks to minimise the havoc caused by the wild elephants. A student found another solution – at a fraction of the above cost.
Anil Pradhan, a 12th grader from Bhadrapur was motivated to solve the problem – while doing so he had to ensure the elephants would not be harmed too. While researching on the matter, he realised elephants were scared of the sound created when bees hum. Accordingly, he installed the sound in a drone, incorporated a red light, and set it out to work. Speaking to the national news agency, he said ‘the elephants ran back to jungle making loud and frightened sounds when the drone approached them.”
His ingenious idea has been received well with the authorities too. Chief of the Division Forest Office in Jhapa Bishnu Lal Ghimire said “the machine has proved itself as the most effective method in chasing away the elephants without huge cost and damage.”
Anil tested his innovation in presence of the officers of the DFO and local people on Thursday and Friday where the drone chased away seven elephants from Duwagadhi of Mechi Municipality on Thursday night and five elephants from Jalthal of Bhadrapur Municipality on Friday night. He spent NRS 250,000 on the apparatus.
Bhadrapur Municipality has recognized Anil’s talent and provided him economic support. According to his profile he currently serves as the IT Project Manager at the municipality office. His drone carries the name ‘Bhadrapur Municipality Siren Drone’.
Note: The article has been inspired by a coverage done by Tikaram Upreti’s article for the National News Agency. The original article can be found here.