Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Now, 'Naga chilly' to scare away wild elephants

Now, 'Naga chilly' to scare away wild elephants
5 Jan 2009,PTI

SHILLONG: The world's hottest chilly, 'Naga chilly', or 'bhoot jolokia' in Assamese dialect, could be the latest weapon against marauding wild elephants who have wrecked havoc in many parts of Northeast.

'Bhoot jolokia', a chilly pepper that grows mostly in Assam, has shot to limelight after the DRDO developed a non-lethal grenade from it that could be used in anti-terrorist operations.

The DRDO and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) are now working on developing the 'chilly' into a powder that could be coated on fences and ropes to scare away wild pachyderms.

"Two months back, a WWF experiment observed that the chilly could be a good scaring material. Its' powder when coated on fences and ropes that are erected on routes of the elephants can scare away the giants," RP Srivastava, director of the Tezpur laboratory of DRDO said.

He said trials are being proposed on the experiment soon, and the DRDO and WWF are working to come up with an effective substance that can help in mitigating man-elephant conflict.

The 'bhoot jolokia' has been branded as the world's hottest chilly with the pungency of 855000 scoville units, that is nearly double the scale of Mexican chilly.

It is used as a cure for stomach ailments and as a remedy to summer heat, presumably by inducing perspiration.

The DRDO says that the chilly also has qualities that can give physiological impetus, especially to security forces deployed in high altitude areas.

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