The forest department, for the first time ever, used the Boma technique to capture Nilgai in MP’s Mandsaur district and later translocated them to the forests of Gandhi Sagar sanctuary.
Boma capturing technique, which is popular in Africa, involves the luring of animals into an enclosure by chasing them through a funnel-like fencing. The forest department painted the captured Nilgai red so that their movement could be tracked. Over 150 forest staff and 70 villagers took part in the capture.
Additional principal chief conservator of forest (wildlife) Pankaj Shrivastav said the preparation for capturing Nilgai with Boma technique had started from around Diwali. He said many states tried to capture Nilgai to check crop damage, but they were unsuccessful. “Many states even permitted their culling, which came under severe criticism. This attempt to capture Nilgai in the open is the first successful attempt of its kind here,” he said.
In June, HT had reported that the state will capture Nilgai through the method of ‘trial and error’, instead of culling them.
Nilgai herds raid and trample crops in districts like Bhind Morena, Chhatarpur, Rewa, Satna, Shajapur and Agar. In 2015, farmers in Neemuch district even resorted to hunger strike, urging state government to provide compensation for damage to their crops by Nilgai.
Forest minister Gaurishankar Shejwar congratulated the staff for the successful experiment. He said the initiative will go a long way in providing relief to farmers.