The highway inside the park in Banke district has become like an electric trap for wildlife. Statistics of the last seven years show the number of wild animals killed after being hit by vehicles on the highways is increasing every year. A total of 358 wild animals have been killed in road accidents in the last seven years due to vehicles plying on the East-West Highway in Banke National Park and Ratna Highway under the Kohalpur-Surkhet road section. In the fiscal year 077/078 alone, 43 wild animals have been trampled to death by vehicles plying on the East-West Highway and Ratna Highway. Last year, 25 wild animals died due to other reasons.
“Highways in the parking area are a threat to wildlife,” said Mahesh Neupane, the park’s Assistant Conservation Officer. He said that wild animals are killed while crossing the road due to high speeding vehicles on the highway. The park covers 72 kilometers of the East-West Highway and 32 kilometers of the North-South Ratna Highway. Assistant Conservation Officer Neupane said that a time card has been enforced to protect the wildlife by reducing the speed of vehicles plying on the highway. The park has also put up hoarding boards in various areas of the highway to protect the wildlife. Even though hoarding boards and time cards have been provided, the accident has not been stopped. The country’s youngest Banke National Park, spread over 550 square kilometers, lacks rivers and streams that run for 12 months a year. Due to this, as soon as the summer starts, wild animals go out of the park in search of water.