Sometimes a low tech solution far outperforms more high tech or direct measures. In this case red hot chili peppers serve to save farmer’s crops from elephants.
MIKUMI VILLAGE, Tanzania—Snap. Crack. Pop.
That’s the sound of an African elephant with a dangerous case of the munchies crashing through underbrush at 25 miles per hour.
Said Longwa, a 52-year-old farmer and father of nine, used to face down crop-raiding elephants with nothing but a flashlight. Others in Mikumi village would beat tin cans or light fires; some exploded homemade pipe bombs. But the sound and fury didn’t deter the largest land mammals on Earth from staging nightly assaults on fields of corn and watermelon.A BULL ELEPHANT
During the worst period of crop raids several years ago, charging elephants killed three people from Mr. Longwa’s village, in the Morogoro region in central Tanzania, more than 118 miles from the coastal capital of Dar es Salaam.
When the elephants visit Mr. Longwa’s cornfield these days, they screw up their long noses and trumpet in consternation.
Mr. Longwa has treated his fence with chili mixed with engine oil—a preparation that adheres to the fence, even in heavy rain. “They will mull it over and often circle two to three times,” the farmer says of the elephants that approach his fence. “But once they get a real whiff of the chili, they snuffle and sneeze.” And leave the scene. (more…)