How Uganda Wildlife Authority can effectively drive away invading elephants
I read your article, “Elephants from South Sudan destroy gardens in Adjumani” with interest. I am interested in the various efforts being made by Uganda Wildlife Authority to divert the herds of elephants from human settlements to the River Unyama to minimise destruction of crops and disruption to human activity.
The various methods of diverting the elephants mentioned in your article are expensive and may involve the use of light aircraft or helicopters. The mention of use of chillies may be useful in the short term, but no one knows the long term impact on other wildlife in the area.
I once saw a cheaper and environmentally friendly method of containing the elephant movements under similar circumstances in a BBC wildlife programme shot in Kenya. Basically, the elephant path is ringed off with bee hives situated about three to four metres from the ground level reinforced with barbed wire fence.
The results were interesting. For some yet inexplicable reason(s), the humming of the bees drives the elephants away at astonishing speeds! It was a remarkably effective method which had the double benefit to the local community of driving the elephants and the production of honey for consumption and sale to raise some disposable income.
This method also brings community service through contributing beehives and working to together. The Uganda Wildlife Authority might wish to consider this option to drive the elephants away from Adjumani District faster.
11-Dec-2012 Dr Eluzai Abe Hakim, St.Mary’s Hospital, NEWPORT The Monitor Newspaper