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Electric Fences

What would happen if an elephant touched an electric fence? It would get a ‘thundering shock’ that hopefully it will never forget and therefore will never touch a fence again! With this in mind we explore electric fencing as an elephant management strategy.

Electric fencing is arguably the most successful tool available for preventing crop raiding by elephants. They work by maintaining a very high voltage pulse, typically around 6000-8000 volt DC with a very low amperage of 4-5 miliamperes in the fence wires. When an elephant contacts the fence, the circuit is completed through the body of the animal and it receives a thundering shock! However because of the low amperage, pulsate nature and it is DC no harm is caused to the animal’s life.

The success of an electric fence and its life-time is dependent on three main criteria: its location, specifications and maintenance. Therefore, in order to be successful electric fences have to be ‘tailor fit’ to the local situation. We have promoted the use of electric fences in two main situations - ‘village-electric fences’ and ‘paddy-field electric fences’. Both approaches use them as exclosures, where the intention is to keep elephants out of the fenced area.

Learn more about permanent electric fences for villages...

Learn more about temporary electric fences for paddy fields...