Return of boars senovernight wristbandsds locals wild
Hoping to keep wild boars at bay, farmer Wu Yongtian has installed several loudspeakers around his farm in East China"s Anhui province, with sounds of human voices, dog barks, gongs and drums blaring from them.
Wild boars were once common in the Dabie Mountains. However, due to increasing human encroachment and hunting on its habitat, its population plummeted in the past decade.
Hence, Wu had not clashed with the fierce beast and its tusks for a long time.
The Dabie Mountains stretch across the eastern and central provinces of Anhui, Hubei and Henan, and are home to various rare plants and animals.
As trees were an important source of fire and income, felling them was a common practice among villagers.
"We depended heavily on the forest. But as trees dwindled, wild boars became harder to spot," said Wu, who is from Qianping village in Jinzhai county.
With China"s urbanization picking up steam, more people have left the mountains to move to cities. Vegetation recovered as no more logging was needed, and habitats were restored as human interference decreased.
However, wild boars have once again become familiar neighbors of the locals.
Bu Yongquan, former Party secretary of the village, said that there are 100 wild boars estimated to dwell within 660 hectares around Qianping village.
"Villagers from almost every household have spotted wild boars coming down from the mountains," he said.
According to Tao Hongjun, head of Mazongling forest farm, the policy of conceding farmland to forestry, and a rising awareness of animal protection have also contributed to the growing population of the State protected animal.
However, the rising boar population has strained relationships with farmers.
"They (wild boars) feed on only the best. Valuable herbs such as tianma and American ginseng that farmers grow are their favorites," Wu said. Tianma is an orchid that is traditionally used as a Chinese herb for the treatment of a number of illnesses.
Reports of wild boar attacks and highway accidents caused by the intruding animal have hit the headlines with increasing frequency.
Apart from loudspeakers, farmers have tried using firecrackers, scarecrows, kerosene and even human hair to keep the boars off their land, but to little effect.
"Sometimes, the loudspeakers even attract them to come nearer," Wu said.
To find solutions to the problem, local governments in the Dabie Mountains have come up with measures including organized hunting to scare the wild boars off and eco-compensation to make up for the farmers" lost incomes.
"I believe humans and wild boars will live in harmony again someday," Wu said.
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