By Gokarna Dayal,Baitadi, Sept. 12: In recent years, people in Baitadi have been facing menace from tigers, leopards, bears, monkeys, and boars, making it hard to carry out farming and stay safe. There have been 26 fatalities and 13 injuries due to leopard and wild boar attacks in the area.
Pooja Lohar, 17, was seriously injured in a leopard attack in Pancheshwar on Thursday. Gaj Bahadur Bhatt, 55, of Melauni Municipality was also seriously injured in a bear attack. Both the injured are being treated at the hospital.
Meena Bhatt, 55, from Pipalkot in Dogdakedar Rural Municipality-4, of the district, was injured when a monkey attacked her while she was cooking in the kitchen. Due to the frequent monkey encounters, many farmers in Pipalkot have stopped farming.
A local resident Hari Sharan Bhatt mentioned that there has been an increase in migration as it has become challenging to protect lives from wild animals.
Not only by monkeys, Manorath Joshi (Mannam), 65, of Pipalkot of Ghordi village in Dogdakedar Rural Municipality-1, died after being attacked by a boar. Bal Bahadur Karki, 45, of Dogdakedar-1 was seriously injured in an attack by a boar two years ago.
Madan Singh Saud, 38, of Pancheshwor of the rural municipality-3, was attacked by a boar while attempting to chase it away from his cornfield. Unfortunately, he sustained injuries during the encounter.
The attacks by leopards, bears, and boars in Baitadi have not only caused physical harm but also inflicted psychological trauma on the residents. Since 2011, leopards have been responsible for the most fatalities in the district.
Madan Joshi, the Statistics Officer at the Division Forest Office in Baitadi, reported that leopards have killed 26 people. Additionally, wild boar attacks have resulted in both fatalities and injuries following the leopard incidents, he confirmed.
In the past, farmers struggled to protect their crops from wild animals. But now, things have become much more dangerous. Bears, monkeys, and boars are coming onto farms and attacking people. As a result, many families have had to leave their villages and move away to stay safe.
Women farmers from Dasharathchand Municipality have visited the mayor's office to seek help. They had to flee their homes because of the rising monkey attacks in their village and are asking for protection.
Mayor Pushkar Raj Joshi Lakhkhabhai acknowledged that there is a significant concern about monkey-related issues in the municipality. He mentioned that over 200 women farmers from wards 5, 8, and 10 in the municipality arrived in a procession to express their difficulty, citing that they had been forced out of their homes due to monkey problems.
During municipal elections, the main agenda was dealing with the monkey problem. However, once elected, addressing this issue becomes more complex. The Forest Act prohibits the killing of monkeys, making it challenging for public representatives to fulfil their election promises regarding this matter.
The darkness, due to the lack of electricity, has enabled leopards and wild boars to attack locals in Pancheshwar, Shivanath Rural Municipality, and Melauli Municipality within the Tallosworad area of the district, said Gorakh Bahadur Chand, Chairperson of Pancheshwar Rural Municipality.
Darshathachand Municipality has been facing monkey menace, forcing the people to leave the village in droves.
Chairman Chand explained that although farmers facing problems with wild animals complain to the municipality regularly, the local government does not have the power to manage these wild animals.