Human-wildlife conflict: Nearly 200 killed, over Rs 600m distributed in compensation in last 5 years

human-wildlife conflict
Human-wildlife conflict is rampant in Nepal. Photo: Shankar Giri

Kathmandu, July 9

At a time when Nepal has been receiving accolades in the international forums for its environmental conservation efforts in recent years, the increasing rate of human-wildlife conflict and the millions of amount being spent by the government in compensation has been a cause for concern.

Wild animals are entering human settlements due to human activities that have encroached upon their natural habitat. Factors such as increased population density, haphazard land usage, and encroachment around protected areas have contributed to this issue.

People in the vicinity of the protected areas are bearing the brunt of human-wildlife conflict with wild animals claiming human lives. These conflicts have also given rise to economic loss over the past few years.

In the last five years alone, 197 people have been killed by wild animals like elephants, tigers, rhinos, leopards, bears and wild dogs. During this period, the government has distributed over Rs 600 million in compensation to the victims’ families.

The ongoing conflict between humans and wild animals is causing significant damage to human properties, including houses, sheds, shelters for domestic animals, and crops, among other things.

In the fiscal year 2023/24, 36 deaths from animal attacks were reported while over Rs 100 million was doled out in compensation, according to the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation.

Among the deaths, 14 people were killed by elephants, 12 by tigers, four by rhinos, three by leopards, two by wild boars and one by a bear, according to the statistics of the Department.

Similarly, 46 sustained minor injuries while 97 were critically injured. The animals, especially elephants, damaged crops in large quantities.

In fiscal year, 2022/23, 58 people lost their lives from wildlife attacks while 72 suffered minor injuries and 116 sustained critical injuries. A total of 12,672 cases of human-wildlife conflict were registered in one year. Elephants killed 23 people while a total of Rs 155.8 million was distributed as a relief to victims.

The department has been carrying out activities to control human-wildlife conflict based on available resources and budget.

Country Representative of the World Wildlife Fund in Nepal, Dr Ghana Shyam Gurung, stressed the need for providing adequate alternatives to people in the vicinity of parks so that they would not have to enter the forest to ensure livelihood.

Report by Bhisma Raj Ojha for RSS

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RSS is a government-run national news portal of Nepal.

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