A 30 km solar electric fencing system will be installed along the forest in the southern province of Dong Nai this year, to minimise conflict between elephants at the Natural and Cultural Reserve Park and villagers living in close proximity.
The Reserve’s director said that the fencing, the first of its kind in the country, is expected to protect the living habitat of both the people and the dwindling elephant numbers. The solar fence has been utilised in many countries, including India and Cambodia, with much success.
Authorities have assured that the fencing system would be completely safe. It will control the animals via sharp, but safe shocks, sufficiently memorable to prevent repeat action.
As many as 1,500 ‘danger' signs will be installed along the fence, which will include eight gates for forest rangers and people to pass through.
The province currently has more than ten elephants, including male, female and calves, living in an area of about 30,000ha of forest protected by reserve staff.
In recent years, farmers in some communes nearby said the elephants continually destroyed their sugarcane, mango and cashew fields, amounting to much financial loss.
They now totally agree with the building of the fence as it will deter the elephants that trample cultivated crops in search of food. Farmers believe the solar fence will sufficiently hinder the entry of the wild herd.
During the last three years, the province has given nearly VND4 billion in compensations to farmers.
Since 2009, nine elephants have died in the reserve and the the nearby protective forest area, eight without a clear reason while one was shot dead.