With dwindling habitats and large appetites, Elephants are increasingly dangerous in countries like India. Elephants are increasingly entering cities, killing people and eating crops of coconuts, ginger and other valuables. On December 29th, for example, they entered the Indian city of Bhubaneswar, attacking a honking car and injuring six people reports The Times of India. This video of an Elephant rampage in Sri Lanka shows how hard they are to control. This elephant plays with a minivan like it’s a toy.
If you’re a farmer, or just live in a city with a forest that contains wild Elephants, they represent a special kind of
Enterprise Risks to your business, not unlike the Monkey Marauders noted in a previous blog entry.
But in the case of Elephants, several noteworthy options are being tested for efficacy in thwarting the Elephant menace:
1) The man honking his horn was hoping to scare away the elephant, and that strategy backfired
2) Forest officials in Mochapallam brought two trained elephants to drive a wild herd of 13 elephants back to the forest. They successfully persuaded 12 to follow, but one got away and chased officials and local citizens.
3) The officials in Mochapallam ultimately were successful in getting the remaining renegade Elephant to retreat to the forest by lighting firecrackers.
4) A Bengali inventor, Amunuddin Ahmed, invented an “Elephant Repellent“, that combines sirens, bulbs and wires connected to a battery, or solar power.
Each of these examples, is a real option – the investment, or partial investment, with an uncertain payoff. In one case, there was not only no payoff – but the strategy backfired.
I’m continuously fascinated by the range of risks that need to be considered by different industries in different countries. Clearly Elephant rampages are rare, but so are Enron scandals and both have terrible outcomes. Are you considering all the risks to your operations, even if they’re not as exotic as Elephants? Do you understand your options, and what they’re worth to you?