NAIROBI, Kenya (UPI) — Kenya has announced it will encircle Mount Kenya, Africa’s second-highest peak and a World Heritage site, with an electric fence to keep wildlife from straying.
Kenya’s government said the project is intended to stop wildlife, particularly elephants, on the slopes of Mount Kenya from destroying crops on nearby farms.
Rhino Ark, the charity that will build the fence, said it would take five years to complete 6-foot-high electric barrier that will be 250 miles long.
“It is going to encircle 2,000 square kilometers (772 square miles) of indigenous forests on the mountain, and a source of many, many rivers and outflows in all directions from the mountains,” Rhino Ark’s Colin Church told the BBC.
If touched, any of the five strands of the fence will deliver a shock, but not at a level that endangers people or animals, officials said.
Construction has begun on the first 30-mile segment of the fence, which should be complete by 2014, Rhino Ark said.
The project, expected to cost about $11 million, is being conducted in collaboration with the Kenya Wildlife Service and the Kenya Forest Service.