Electrical Fencing – The Unwanted Wildlife Showstopper

Electric fencing is effective because of its psychological impact on potentially destructive wildlife such as deer, elk, bears, and even feral pigs.  It’s important to prepare the fence to maximize its impact and effectiveness. 

The Dangers

Once the fencing is installed, a thick coating of molasses and peanut butter should be spread over the wires.  Animals’ bodies are insulated by their hair and fur.  Persuading them to investigate a live electric fence with their nose or tongue ensures the targeted wildlife receives the desired psychological effects of the fence. After the initial shock, animals can determine if the fence is still live by just coming near the fence without actually touching it. The memory of the shock, although minor and low in voltage, is usually enough to ward off unwanted animal trespassers. 

According to Michael Conover of Utah State University, the destruction caused by wildlife to crops, landscaping, buildings, and fencing costs the United States more than $28 billion a year.  But in countries like Kenya, the worries and costs per square mile are even more enormous due to monstrous intruders such as elephants and lions. 

The Statistics

Kenya is home to 20,000 lions and more than 6,000 elephants. In an effort to protect farmers and their crops, a charity called Rhino Ark has been working to erect an electric fence around Mount Kenya National Park which will eventually stretch about 250 miles and stand about 6.5 feet high, as well as extend over 3 feet below the ground.  This fence will also wrap 772 square miles around indigenous and a vast amount of rivers and outflows from Mount Kenya.  The first phase of the fence will not be fully completed until around the beginning of 2014, and has been under construction since 2002. 

With five electrified wires, Kenya’s new fence will hopefully protect the forests and farmland around Mount Kenya, but not pose any danger from electrical shock to humans or wildlife.  The estimated cost of this project is nearly $12 million. 

Alaska is home to an estimated 50,000 grizzly bears. Therefore, the Alaska Department of Fish and Game must do their part to deter these bears away from a wide variety of situations, such as airplane sites, fish canneries, garbage containers and dumpsters, and many more. 

Campers

Campers are even using battery-powered electrical fencing now in places like Alaska and Montana to protect their campsites from unwanted furry visitors.  Obviously, erecting fences while trekking in backcountry is not the most practical way to prevent a bear attack, but they are somewhat useful for those who are able to use them.      

Electrical fences are controversial because many individuals and organizations argue that, while the physical impact is slight, the shock is both immoral and unethical in the treatment of animals.  Many also believe the psychological impact is a form of animal cruelty as well. But in places ravaged by elephants and grizzly bears, such as the people in and around the Mount Kenya National Park and on the Alaskan frontier, experts have found few other options.

As the full time office manager for an internet website marketing organization, Dan toils as a posting visitor so as to compliment commerce in the Mother Land for companies like The Burly Corporation of North America. He resides in LA, and is soaking up life alongside his lovely wife plus their three rug rats. Daniel-son harkens sightseers to review his Google experiences when they get a chance.