The trial conducted by the Elephants Protection Society (EPS) in collaboration with Savanna Sky has showed that the smelly buck repellent (Agri-shield Natural Protection Buck-off) has significantly reduced elephant crop-raiding.
The chemical repellent offers a potential new method to mitigate the growing problem of elephants’ destructions in the farms around Ngamiland as the conflict between humans and the animals continues. This is as many existing methods of tackling the problem are expensive and difficult to execute.
The on-going trial meant to help keep the elephants away from crops started earlier in April this year where three farms were selected around Chanoga village to observe how the animals react to the product. The results as according to the society have so far proved to be effective.
The buck repellent used is said to have been efficient and in the tested farms, the owners have shown that no elephant has gone into their farms unlike in other farms surrounding theirs where the repellent was not applied.
“There was no raiding of crops in fields protected by the smelly fence but there were much higher levels of raiding in fields that were not sprayed with the chemical repellent,” said the society’s Co-Founder Oaitse Nawa who noted that the outcome has given them the assurance that the chemical repellent is effective and can be used by many other farmers to deter crop raiding by elephants.
“Initially, we had diluted the chemical repellent before spraying it however it proved not to be effective as elephants continued to raid the sprayed area. We then decided to spray the concentrated chemical without diluting it and we got good results,” Nawa said.
Nawa said they are now intending to continue with the trials in more farms for few more weeks so that they can come up with a solid result from the project.
He noted that as human-elephant conflict increases daily in the Ngamiland area, there is an urgent need for effective yet easy methods to apply that prevents elephants’ destructions in farms while at the same time not harming them or the vegetation around them.
Nawa noted that the chemical used is a buck repellent that has been used in countries like South Africa to deter bucks, hippos and other animals. He indicated that the product is scientifically proven to be environmental friendly.
Nawa who has been going around with his team testing the product over the past weeks said they have not seen any negativity assuring that vegetation has not been affected in any way in and around the farms. “We have observed that it is not harmful to vegetation and also to the crops in the tested farms as they have not wilted nor died in all the 3 farms were testing was done,” he claimed.