There are literally thousands of kilometres of electric fencing ringing our South African national parks, reserves, game farms and Karoo sheep farms. A recent incident involving an Aardvark on a farm close to our Karoo home started us thinking. 

We know of numerous records of Leopard Tortoises being electrocuted and killed on these electrified strands. But tortoises do not pull back and receive multiple shocks. Although the Aardvark in question was only stunned, recovered and ran away, we wonder how many mammals, reptiles, even larger birds may be impacted by these fences? Probably few die but the major impact is how movements are disrupted. 

Much attention is given to the impact of traffic on wildlife, as road casualties, but perhaps the impact of electrified fences on wildlife should be investigated. 

Photos: A.J.van Wyk