Starting from March 30, the elephants at Chitwan National Park (CNP) have been allowed to move freely with the construction of an electric fence to mark their territory.
Kamal Jung Kunwar, chief conservation officer at the CNP, said that 31 elephants out of the 63 chained in 15 different places will be released in first phase, with four of the elephants already off the chains, he said.
Kunwar said that the construction of a solar-powered fence has already been completed in four places. “The construction will be completed by June 29.” He also claimed that the relation between mahouts and elephants will improve once the animals are off the chains. The elephants tied up reportedly suffered wounds on its feet. Around Rs 800,000 will be spent in the construction of a fence in each location and a total of around Rs 10.7 million is allocated for the construction of electric fences in all places, CNP authorities said. The government and Elephant and International Project, an INGO, have funded the project. According to the CNP, an electric fence is likely to last 20 to 25 years.
“We will construct these fences in 13 locations during the first phase. We will then consult on whether to erect similar fences in Sauraha and Khorsor,” said assistant Conservation Officer at the CNP Bishnu Thapaliya.