Forest Department tries out elephant repellent

However, farmers in Denkanikottai are not enthused by the little-known spray

December 29, 2015 12:00 am | Updated March 24, 2016 12:43 pm IST - HOSUR:

Heaps of ragi and plantains have been placed in select spots along the forest boundary for sample testing of an “elephant-repellent” here in Denkanikottai.

Herboliv, manufactured by a private manufacturer and marketed as a “wild animal repellent and crop promoter,” is being tried out by the Forest Department here in select spots in Denkanikottai.

“We are not familiar with the product by a private manufacturer. We invited them to sample testing in our area. The result was not fully satisfactory since it was just a sample area and remains to be time-tested on a larger area,” says E.Rajendran, District Forest Officer, Hosur Forest Division.

The ratio of the mixture is 1 litre of the organic compound to 9 litres of water.

The organic compound emits an odour that tends to repel wild animals, claims the product brochure. “We heard about the product tested and certified by the TNAU, Coimbatore. The product has been tried in isolated fields in Coimbatore.

“While it may have worked in Coimbatore fields that have been rampaged by one or two elephants, it is unclear as to how it would work on a migratory herd of 60 or more elephants,” says Mr.Rajendran.

However, farmers seem to be less enthused by a little-known spray to allow it to be tested on their fields. Also, since ragi fields - the preferred haunt for the migratory animals have largely been harvested, the department has purchased ragi and banana plantains in the market to test the product.

The department is equally concerned about bio-diversity conservation. The product brochure claims that the mixture when sprayed on crops weans away wild boars, deer, peacocks and rodents besides “improving shelf life” of the crop.

“We had concerns over the spray having an adverse effect on livestock or crops,” says the DFO. For now, the department has taken up the experiment in all earnestness albeit with a bucket-full of salt.

Top News Today

Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.