Saturday, December 15, 2018

Elephant gets stuck in railway fencing while fleeing villagers in Karnataka, chokes to death


A wild elephant was killed near Karnataka’s Nagarhole National Park on Saturday as it was trying to flee chasing villagers, adding to the spiralling count of deaths caused by human-animal conflicts.

The tusker, which raided farms in Bharthawadi village in the early hours, was running back into the nearby Veeranahosahalli forest when it got trapped by the railway fencing erected by the Karnataka forest department.

As it tried to heave itself over the fence, it reportedly collapsed under its own weight and its diaphragm got crushed, after which it was unable to breathe and choked to death.

Since 2013, the Karnataka forest department has been setting up railway fencing in national parks in the state as a conflict-mitigation measure. In the first phase of the project, it erected 33 kms of fencing. A further 220 kms of fencing, to be completed with a budget of Rs 220 crores, has been sanctioned.

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She-elephant, calf rescued from unprotected well


A she-elephant and a calf that fell into an unprotected well in a cultivated land at

Konaragama in Ehetuwewa were rescued from drowning by wildlife conservators.

The she-elephant was 35 years old and 8ft tall while the calf was about three years old.

Residents in the area said a herd of about 20 elephants were frequenting the area and destroying crops.

Head of the Galgamuwa Wildlife Conservation Oce Luxman Rohitha, Wildlife Guard K.D.S.M. Kanakaratne, Civil Defence personnel G.G.N.S. Jayakody and G.G.S.K. Bandara and volunteers Namal Dissanayake and Chanaka Sandaruwan saved the two elephants and released them into the jungle.

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Foundation laid for elephant shelter


The foundation stone-laying ceremony of the proposed building complex to provide shelter
to elephants of the Ruhunu Kataragama Maha Devala was held yesterday.

Addressing the ceremony, Basnayake Nilame Dilruwan Rajapakse said the project costing
Rs.20 million would include bathing places in a natural surrounding for the elephants and living quarters for mahouts and their helpers.

He said the elephants would not be chained in the building complex and that facilities would
be provided to clean them at regular intervals and to provide prompt treatment for any illness.

Chief Sanghanayake of the Ruhunu Magam Pattu and Chief Incumbent of the Kirivehera Rajamaha Vihara, Ven. Kobawaka Dhaminda Thera and Chief Adhikarana Sanghanayake of the
Ruhunu Magam Pattu, Chief Incumbent of the Sri Abhinawarama Temple Ven. Kapugama
Sarana Tissa Thera performed religious activities.

Maha Bethme Lekham of the Devala Dayananda Adhikari, Head Kapurala Lalith Ratnayake,
Administrative Secretary to the Basnayake Nilame’s oce Jayantha Wijesinghe and workers
of the Devala were present at the occasion.

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Thursday, December 13, 2018

Wild elephant electrocuted to death in Kantale


A wild elephant has died by electrocution in Wanela –Kantale last night (12), stated Ada Derana reporter.

Reportedly, the elephant had come in contact with a high voltage electric fence erected around a house garden in Wanela area. The elephant had been electrocuted when it destroyed the electric fence using a Neem (Kohomba) tree branch.

According to the Wildlife Department officials, the deceased elephant had been 40 years of age and nearly 9 feet high.

The owner of the garden is being produced before the Kantale Magistrate’s Court.

The post mortem on the elephant will be conducted today (13) and further investigations will be conducted by the Kantale Police and Kantale Wildlife Department officials.

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Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Heartbreaking video shows injured elephant being treated after collapsing


An injured elephant was found near a town in Sri Lanka toppled over into a mudpit after hurting its foot, triggering a rescue and aid effort for the lost beast. The elephant was found in the

To read the full article, click on the story title.





Tuesday, December 11, 2018

WATCH | Elephant escapes canal on ladder made of rope, tyres and sticks


The elephant fell into a canal in Welikanda, eastern Sri Lanka.

The Daily Mail reports that footage shows an elephant wade across a canal, before spotting the specially crafted rope ladder made for him by the department of wildlife conservation.

It took six hours and multiple attempts, but eventually the elephant manages to climb up the ladder and out of the canal. As soon as he's on dry land, he charges off.

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Four men possessing priceless elephant pearls arrested


Four men were arrested in Kandy on Sunday on charges of possessing 11 priceless elephant
pearls.

Ocers from the Kandy Division of the Crimes Prevention Unit, arrested the suspects during
raids carried out near the Kandy Lake and the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium.

“The arrests had been carried out based on the information provided by an informant,” the
Police said.

The ocers pretending to be buyers had acted as decoys.

Police said the suspects, between 27 and 40 years, were residents of Badulla, Monaragala,
Ampara and Wellawaya.

They were handed over to the Kandy Police for further investigations.

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RAILWAYS LAUNCHES SMS ALERTS TO PREVENT ELEPHANT COLLISIONS


An SMS alert service has been commenced as of yesterday (10), as the first phase of the project on reducing train collisions with elephants.

This implementation will be carried out based on the information gathered from the Department of Wildlife, the general public and the officers of railway service.

Accordingly, this 24-hour SMS alert service would be executed to send out information on elephants roaming around railway lines.

Speaking to the media at a media briefing at the Railways Head Quarters, the General Manager of Railways (GMR) M.J. Dilantha Fernando said train-elephant collisions could not be stopped 100 percent but it could be controlled.

“People can inform about elephant herds through the hotline 24-hours. As soon as an SMS sent to through this number it will be recorded in a system in the Wildlife Department. “Then the SMS will be forwarded to Railways Department and then forwarded to a registered group in the railways.

“The group consists of engine drivers, rail guards, rail track supervisory managers, gatemen, people who live near railway lines affected by the elephant-human conflict, station masters where the elephant herd passes, people living along the tracks and all stakeholders who are interested on elephant-human conflict,” GMR Fernando said.

The SMS will be delivered among the group as ‘Elephant ALT’,” he said. He said that a typical SMS Alert would indicate the number of elephants, location, area, and the time and the track. Sample SMS – ElephantALT – Elephant Herd – Seen at 128.5 mile post – Between Galgamuwa-Tabuttegama at 19.34 – North Line

Meanwhile, the General Manager of Railways (GMR) Dilantha Fernando says that the Railway Department intends to deploy the power-set train imported from India for commuting without delay.

He said that a group of Indian officials had run tests yesterday, to detect defects on the imported train.

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That's no Dumbo! Trapped elephant clambers out of canal after rescuers throw it an ingenious ladder made of rope, tyres and sticks


This is the ingenious moment a lost elephant was able to clamber onto a specially crafted rope ladder and escape from a canal.

The elephant, estimated to be 25-years-old, had fallen into a canal in Welikanda near Polonnaruwa, eastern Sri Lanka, when wildlife officials decided to devise a plan.

Footage shows the elephant wade across the canal's waters before spotting the specially crafted rope ladder made for him by the Department of Wildlife Conservation.

To read the full article, click on the story title.

That's no Dumbo! Trapped elephant clambers out of canal after rescuers throw it an ingenious ladder made of rope, tyres and sticks


This is the ingenious moment a lost elephant was able to clamber onto a specially crafted rope ladder and escape from a canal.

The elephant, estimated to be 25-years-old, had fallen into a canal in Welikanda near Polonnaruwa, eastern Sri Lanka, when wildlife officials decided to devise a plan.

Footage shows the elephant wade across the canal's waters before spotting the specially crafted rope ladder made for him by the Department of Wildlife Conservation.

To read the full article, click on the story title.


Monday, December 10, 2018

Four arrested in possession of Gaja Muthu


Colombo (News 1st) – Four men were arrested in Kandy for the possession of Gaja Muthu or elephant pearls valued at over Rs. 40 Million.

Elephant pearls are formed naturally within the tusks of elephants. Police said the Kandy Anti-Vice Unit used undercover agents and detectives to arrest the suspects.

Three men were arrested with 08 elephant pearls opposite the Kandy Pallekele International Cricket Stadium while the other was arrested with 03 elephant pearls close to the Kandy Wewa.

The suspects will be produced in court today.

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Sunday, December 09, 2018

Caring for the treasured jumbos


The month began on a sad note for Sri Lanka’s wildlife enthusiasts, when an 11-year-old tusker was shot dead in Udawalawe National Park, about 160 km southeast of Colombo. The results of the post-mortem examination pointed to a fatal bullet injury in the animal’s head.
Caretakers in the park told local media that the calf, which had two tusks, had no history of menacing people living in the area. Authorities have since been trying to find the person who fired at the elephant.

In fact, 2018 hasn’t been great for Sri Lanka’s tuskers, which are venerated as a “national treasure” and have been a huge tourist draw for decades. As many as 277 elephants have died during the year, due to causes such as electrocution, accidents on railway tracks, ‘Hakka Patas’ or traps made of explosives, and gun shots fired by people guarding their crops from the animal. Last year, as many as 256 tuskers died, according to Sri Lanka’s Department of Wildlife Conservation.

In a bid to address the growing threat to the elephant population — over 6,000 across the island — authorities are taking a range of measures from electric fencing to earmarking some zones as “protected areas”, Department spokesperson Hasini Sarathchandra said. “We are also trying to increase awareness among people through schools in areas near the different national parks,” she told The Hindu.

The task at hand is not easy, especially in the wake of growing environmental challenges — both natural and man-made. In July, a tusker was found washed out to sea and was later rescued by the Sri Lankan Navy, whose personnel spotted the animal in distress and towed it to the shore. Officials suspected that the elephant might have been swept into the sea while crossing the Kokkilai lagoon, near Mullaitivu and Trincomalee districts in the island’s northeast. The prolonged drought in the region was pushing the elephants off their usual course in the nearby jungles.

Illegal waste dumps

In September, authorities launched a probe into the death of wild elephants in a marsh in the island’s east. Illegal waste dumps have also emerged a serious source of danger for elephants. Earlier this year, AFP reported the spotting of a herd of wild elephants foraging for food in a mountain of garbage in central Sri Lanka. The animals were swallowing dangerous material from the illegal waste dump, including plastic mixed with decaying food. Meanwhile, human-elephant conflict remains a key challenge for people living near forest areas. Until November 30 this year, 88 people have died after being attacked by the beasts. “You can’t completely eliminate human-animal conflict, but you can mitigate it to a significant extent,” according to Jayantha Jayawardena, an expert on Asian elephants.

Especially so, in the case of fatal train accidents that make frequent headlines here. In September, a train transporting oil across the island killed two baby elephants and their mother. Last month, a passenger train hit and killed three young elephants in eastern Sri Lanka.

“The Wildlife and Railway Departments got together and agreed on certain measures to address this problem, but nothing gets implemented. The human element in this has been very negative,” said Mr. Jayawardena, managing trustee of the Biodiversity and Elephant Conservation Trust. In his view, authorities do not have a much-needed proactive conservation strategy, but are often “just firefighting”. “If an elephant calf inside a national park is shot dead, then where else can the animal be safe in our country,” he asked, referring to the December 1 incident.

Meera Srinivasan works for The Hindu and is based in Colombo.

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Saturday, December 08, 2018

SMS alerts for train drivers about wild elephants


Colombo (News 1st) – The Department of Railways is preparing to launch a program to alert train drivers and engineers about wild elephants roaming close to railway tracks via SMS.

The program will commence on Monday and it is one of the recommendations made by the committee appointed to prevent the deaths of wild elephants by trains accidents.

A 24-hour operations center is to be set up to coordinate the SMS service.

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Four baby elephants that strayed into human habitats saved

Four baby elephants that strayed away from the herd and roamed into human habitats had
been captured and handed over to the Girithale Wildlife Veterinary Hospital for treatment and
care until they were handed over to the Udawalawa Elephant Transit Home.

A senior ocial of the Veterinary Hospital said three male calves and a female calf were being
treated at the hospital.

He said four calves had been handed over to the hospital by Wildlife Conservators in Vavuniya, Kantale and the Gomarankadawala areas by wildlife conservation officers.

He said the calves were between two and five months of age and one of them had fallen into a
canal and was bitten by a crocodile while the other had sustained minor injuries.

Veterinary Surgeon Dr. Dinusha De Silva said the four calves would be handed over to
Udawalawa Elephant Transit Home after recovery

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Friday, December 07, 2018

Elephant Calf Rescued from a House Creates Ruckus in Srilanka


Description An elephant calf has been stranded in a house near the Weerawila Tissa main road this morning.The rescued elephant was handed over to the Wildlife Officers by the Local Villagers.Wildlife officials are suspecting that the baby elephant could have been stranded due to the elephant culling of the wild elephants in the Weerawila area these days. It is also reported that a herd of wild elephants are roaming in that area trying to locate the elephant calf.Efforts have been taken by the wildlife officials to reunite the calf with the mother elephant after treating the injured elephant calf.

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Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Sri Lanka- Video of young Lankan girl controlling elephant


Sri Lanka- Video of young Lankan girl controlling elephant

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Sri Lanka- Elephant killed in train accident near Mankulam


(MENAFN - Colombo Gazette) /> Colombo Gazette Home News Sports Business Opinion Advertorial Feature Lifestyle / Events Travel Your Health Home News Elephant killed in train accident near Mankulam News Elephant killed in train accident near Mankulam December 4, 2018 - 12:26 11

An elephant was killed after being hit by a train near Mankulam today.

The train which was operating between Colombo and Jaffna crashed into the male elephant this morning.

MENAFN0412201801900000ID1097783380

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Sri Lanka- Elephant killed in train accident near Mankulam


An elephant was killed after being hit by a train near Mankulam today.

The train which was operating between Colombo and Jaffna crashed into the male elephant this morning.

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Monday, December 03, 2018

Elephant calf found shot dead in Udawalawe


An eleven-yearold elephant that lived in Udawalawe National Park, had been shot dead in the

Udawalawe Reservoir area early Saturday morning, Rangers of the Department of Wild Life
Conservation said.

They said that the elephant calf had two feet tusks (60 cm) and it was identied by its identity
number of T 212.

It has been killed between two electric fences on Udawalawe-thanamalwila Road. It was having a tussock in his trunk when it was killed.

It has been revealed in the postmortem examination that the elephant had died due to a bullet
penetrated its head.“there are two bullets that had penetrated into its head and one bullet was
long about one cm,” the report said. Caretaker of the Park R.A.D.D. Samaranayake said the
dead elephant was not the elephant identied by Mugalan. “There was no news that this elephant cub has caused damages to the general public. The elephant called Rambo is violent and
has broken two electric fences and gone out of the fences,” he said.

“This cub could have joined Rambo and has gone in search of food,” he said.
The elephant calf had been roaming the areas of 5th Mile Post, 7th Mile Post, Mahaduwa, according to Rangers.

According to Veterinary Surgeon of the WLCD, it has been killed on December 01 after 1.30
a.m.“as this region is used as grazing area by cattle farmers, cattle thieves illegally come to
steal the animals.

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Elephant calf found shot dead in Udawalawe


An eleven-yearold elephant that lived in Udawalawe National Park, had been shot dead in the
Udawalawe Reservoir area early Saturday morning, Rangers of the Department of Wild Life
Conservation said.

They said that the elephant calf had two feet tusks (60 cm) and it was identied by its identity
number of T 212.

It has been killed between two electric fences on Udawalawe-thanamalwila Road. It was having a tussock in his trunk when it was killed.

It has been revealed in the postmortem examination that the elephant had died due to a bullet
penetrated its head.“there are two bullets that had penetrated into its head and one bullet was
long about one cm,” the report said. Caretaker of the Park R.A.D.D. Samaranayake said the
dead elephant was not the elephant identied by Mugalan. “There was no news that this elephant cub has caused damages to the general public. The elephant called Rambo is violent and
has broken two electric fences and gone out of the fences,” he said.

“This cub could have joined Rambo and has gone in search of food,” he said.

The elephant calf had been roaming the areas of 5th Mile Post, 7th Mile Post, Mahaduwa, according to Rangers.

According to Veterinary Surgeon of the WLCD, it has been killed on December 01 after 1.30
a.m.“as this region is used as grazing area by cattle farmers, cattle thieves illegally come to
steal the animals.

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Saturday, December 01, 2018

Another elephant shot and killed!


Another elephant had been shot and killed in the vicinity of the Udawalawe tank.

According to the Wildlife Director General Chandana Sooriyabandara, this elephant had been killed early this morning.

The elephant is believed to be around 10-15 years. The post-mortem examination on the dead animal is expected to be carried out today.

The Wildlife Director General stated that the Wildlife Department is working together with the police to apprehend those responsible for the killing of this elephant.

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Thursday, November 29, 2018

Farmers distressed by broken electric fence in Giribawa


Colombo (News 1st) – Villages in the Giribawa Divisional Secretariat are distressed due to the dysfunctional electric fence near their villages.

The 22 Km fence, which was built in 2006, broke down three months ago when the circuit of the fence was damaged. Residents complain that even though the relevant authorities have been informed no steps have been taken to repair the fence.

The village of Giribawa which is a small village in the Kurunegala district depends on cultivation for their livelihood. The farmers criticise that the absence of the electric fence has led to the destruction of their livelihood by elephants.

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Friday, November 23, 2018

Tragic deaths of Ummu & Fathima; Human-elephant conflict unresolved


Colombo (News 1st) – There were protests staged today in the Mahiyangana Badulla main road over the death of 02 children due to the human-elephant conflict.

Although the issues faced by the people living in Maapaakada Mahiyanganaya due to the human-elephant conflict have been highlighted on numerous occasions, the relevant authorities have failed to address it.

What happened this time?

Ramesh who suffers from a disability lives with his wife and four daughters along with another daughter of a relative. While being a low-income family, their livelihood is paddy cultivation.

The mother of the children explained the tragic incidents which unfolded on the night before the daughters’ term tests.

She said that at around 10.20 PM an elephant put his trunk into the house and rammed the house. A villager added that there was paddy stacked inside the house and that this was the reason the elephant tried rummaging through the house.

The mother continued her mourning stating that she woke up her 4 daughters and ran to the garden. She stated that the elephant snatched one child and threw her away. She then stated that she was rolled and pressed up against the wall by the elephant while another daughter was snatched afterwards.

Continuing her story she stated that her daughters Ummu Rasiyath aged 11, and Fathima Riskath aged 8 were killed in a cornfield.

Ummu Rasiyath was living with her aunt after she was abandoned by her mother and when father was overseas.

32 houses have been destroyed in this village since the 7th of this month and no solution has been provided for.

The final rites for the two girls killed in the wild elephant attack were observed this evening.

Who will be held accountable for this tragedy?

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Indian interference in internal affairs of neighboring countries


Sri Lankan president Sirisena claimed the plotting of his assassination by Indian intelligence agency RAW. The Indian newspaper The Hindu reported in 16th October 2018 “Indian intelligence Agency RAW was engaged in the activities to assassinate him (President Meithripala Sirisena) but Prime Minister Narendra Modi may not aware of the plan. The Colombo correspondent of “The Hindu” Ms. Srinivasan has reported that Sri Lankan authorities are seeking “Chinese assistance to tap the evidence pertaining to the assassination plot.

This claim was mentioned in a story of “The Hindu”, just a few days before Ranil Wickremesinghe was scheduled to visit New Dehli. Later on, Mr. Sirisena rejected the report of the Hindu by saying that the Indian Secret Service was plotting to kill him but Modi may not know.

Looking into history, India is interfering in Sri Lanka’s internal issues since long. India and Sri

Lanka observed good relationship. India’s interference in Sri-Lanka started from Lankan Civil war. In December 2015, Sri Lanka’s Sunday Times newspaper reported saying links with common opposition had cost RAW station chief his job in Colombo. The Economic Times reported a statement of Chinese Scholar Lin Minwang regarding Indian Interference in Sri Lanka’s internal affairs. Mahinda Rajapaksa had held RAW among those for the change in regime following his defeat in 2015. According to Indian Foreign policy scholar Rajaul Karim Laskar, Indian interference in Sri-Lankan war became inevitable. In 2015, “Reuters” reported that “Indian Spy’s Agency role alleged in Sri-Lankan Presidential elections.” Colombo station chief of India’s spy agency RAW was accused of helping the opposition oust President Mahinda Rajapaksa. India denied the charges at that time.

In later 1980s and June 1987, Indian Air force dropped food, water, and weapons as the direct support towards rebels. Sri Lankan government accused India of this action. India directly helped the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The LTTE fought to create an independent Tamil state in the north and the east of the Island. Later on, India tried to block Chinese and Pakistani military hardware exports to Sri-Lanka. Pakistan was on the brink of finalizing the sale of JF-17 thunder Fighter aircraft to Sri Lankan air force but India’s counter offer of Light Combat Air Crafts Tejas. This counter offer became a hindrance in the Pak-Lanka defense deal. Reportedly, Indian Tamils and refugees entered in Island as visitors. It is estimated that Indian paid the US $ 6,000/- on Sri Lankan authorities for preparation of passports and Identity Cards for these insurgents.

Writing more, it is an open secret, that India is involved in insurgencies not in Pakistan but in other neighboring countries. “Times of India” reported that India is adopting a wait and watch stand on the ongoing political crisis in Sri-Lanka. However, India is trying to use media front as a mean to “Yellow revolution/ Asymmetrical warfare” by projecting that the President’s action is unconstitutional and the move to install Rajapaksa as the PM could lead to constitutional crisis. India always denies these accusations but it has been proved that Indian foreign policy is designed to gain power in the region.

India always preferred conflict over trade. It spends a lot of money on insurgencies and military conflicts. India continues violating international laws by firing on Line of Control (LoC). India was involved in a conflict with Pakistan and in military conflict in the Doklam Region with China. On the other hand, India’s adventurism in Bhutan is also noticeable. India being “An Elephant in the Room” is trying to destroy the sovereignty of economical and militarily weak neighboring states.

Concluding more! 5% Of the Indian public are living below the poverty line. 1.77 Million People are homeless or living in one room. Regardless of worst living situations of the Indian public, India continues spending on insurgencies in neighboring countries. It is the need of the hour that India should revise its foreign policy. It should stop spending on insurgencies and conflicts with other countries.

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Two children, 9 & 11, killed in elephant attack in Mahiyanganaya last night


Colombo (News1st): In a tragic incident reported late last night, two children were reportedly crushed to death by marauding wild elephants in a rural village in Mahiyanganaya, Sri Lanka.

Initial reports reaching News 1st suggest that the family had tried to escape from their home when elephants attacked it around 1130 last night.

This village has been plagued with elephant attacks for many years with News 1st continuously highlighting the plight of its residents.

The final rights of the two children are expected to be conducted today.

The human elephant conflict claims the lives of hundreds of humans and elephants in Sri Lanka, each year.

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Two girls killed in wild elephant attack


Two girls aged 9 and 11 have reportedly died after a wild elephant attacked their home at Mapakadawewa in Mahiyangana.

Police said the attack had taken place at around 10.30 p.m. last night.

When two wild elephants had started to attack their home last night, the 9-year-old girl’s mother had attempted to flee from the house along with her daughter and 11-year-old niece.

However, the elephants had charged after them and attacked.

The house had also sustained serious damage in the attack carried out by the elephants, Ada Derana Reporter said.

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Thursday, November 22, 2018

Wild elephant attack kills one in Ethimale


One person has been killed in wild elephant attack In Usgoda area in Ethimale, stated Ada Derana reporter.

The person who suffered critical injuries in the attack had succumbed to the injuries upon admission to Ethimale hospital.

Reportedly, the deceased is a 70 year old resident of Mayuragama area in Ethimale.

The body is currently kept in the Ethimale hospital morgue and the post mortem will be conducted today (22).

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This year alone 61 wild elephants killed: DWC


The death toll of wild elephants in the Mahaweli Wildlife Zone has been increasing in alarming
rate much to the anxiety of the Wildlife Conservations. Asst. Director, Mahaweli Wildlife
Zone W.d.m.j.wickremesinghe said statistically 61 wild elephants had died from January to
date and that most of them had died due to human activities or accidents.

He said most of them had been electrocuted, run over by train or had drowned in abandoned
wells or marshes. The official pointed out several wild elephants had died of injuries caused
by the locally made explosive devise “Hakka Patas” and of gunshot injuries and several calves
had fallen prey to the Hakka Pattas explosive device. He pointed out that the death toll of wild
elephants had increased this year in a large proportion when compared to the previous years.

Wildlife Conservation officer said 21 people had been killed by wild elephants for the year to
date. He pointed out that the human –elephant conflict was going on unchecked despite preventive
measures taken by the department of wildlife conservations (DWC).

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Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Faulty electric fence fails to stop wild elephants


Farmers in Naula Divisional Secretary’s Division in Matale District complained that wild elephants
were encroaching into their villages due to an electric fence that had been installed not
working properly.

Farmers of Moragolla, Ambana Senagama and Opalwala areas said that their cultivations have
been destroyed by the wild elephants that roam about in these areas.

They explained that the fence is operated by a battery which had been stolen by thieves, resulting
in the fence being without electricity and thereby making it useless for stopping wild
elephants from entering their villages.

Ranjith K. Vijitha of the Department of Wild Life in Elahera said that they were taking remedial
measures to rectify the situation.

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Villages live in fear of wild elephants


Residents of Several villages in Shrawastipura in Anurdhapura are living in constant fear of a
possible danger to their life from a herd of wild elephants that raid the cultivated land and
home gardens at dusk.

They pointed out that the people in Sinthikulam, Henapolayagama, Aluthwewa, Kandugampolagama,

Siyambalewa, Moragoda were exposed to the wild elephant threat and that the
herd destroyed paddy elds,

Chena cultivation and their home garden crops.

Villagers said they had been facing the threat of wild elephants for more than 10 years due to
the negligence in the maintenance of the electric fence from Moragoda in Shravastipura to

Thala that prevent wild elephants roaming into the human habitats through AnuradhapuraKurunegala
road.

They pointed out that their children do not attend school in fear of a possible danger to their
lives. They said a schoolboy had a narrow escape when he was attacked by a jumbo and that so
far about 12 people had been trampled to death.

They requested the Wildlife Conservation Department to repair and maintain the electric
fence to prevent the wild elephants from roaming into the villages.

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Deaths increasing due to human, elephant conflict – The rise of a vexing national problem!


What is the nature of the human-elephant conflict as we see it today? It’s important to note that Sri Lanka, a country that was home to more than 20,000 wild Asian elephants has reduced its population to 4000. People living in rural areas have encroached into wildlife habitat and this has created problems between humans and elephants. There is a large hue and cry among farmers for destroying their agricultural crops and houses. With the reduction of habitats in forests and water sources being depleted, most of the elephants have shown a greater tendency to wander into newly cultivated areas in search of food. This intractable problem should be taken into consideration because Sri Lankan elephants are an iconic constituent of the country’s wildlife. Those who wish to experience an elephant safari can consider amazing Sri Lanka guided tours offered by some of the leading tour operators such as Cinnamon Nature Trails.

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Elephant carcass recovered from canal bank


The carcass of a wild elephant that died of an electric shock was recovered from the bank of an
irrigation canal at Aselapura in Welikanda last morning.

The Welikanda Police said the jumbo, that roamed into the village in search of fodder, had
stepped on an electric trap laid by a villager. The police say they had still not identied the
culprit and were seeking the assistance of the Wildlife Conservation Department in this regard..

Welikanda Police OIC Lasantha A. Bandara was heading the investigation.

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Villages live in fear of wild elephants


Residents of Several villages in Shrawastipura in Anurdhapura are living in constant fear of a
possible danger to their life from a herd of wild elephants that raid the cultivated land and homegardens at dusk.

They pointed out that the people in Sinthikulam, Henapolayagama, Aluthwewa, Kandugampolagama,
Siyambalewa, Moragoda were exposed to the wild elephant threat and that the
herd destroyed paddy elds,

Chena cultivation and their home garden crops.

Villagers said they had been facing the threat of wild elephants for more than 10 years due to
the negligence in the maintenance of the electric fence from Moragoda in Shravastipura to
Thala that prevent wild elephants roaming into the human habitats through AnuradhapuraKurunegala
road.

They pointed out that their children do not attend school in fear of a possible danger to their
lives. They said a schoolboy had a narrow escape when he was attacked by a jumbo and that so
far about 12 people had been trampled to death.

They requested the Wildlife Conservation Department to repair and maintain the electric
fence to prevent the wild elephants from roaming into the villages.

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A baby elephant stays by to protect the sick elephant mother


It is a sunny day in the rural areas of Sri Lanka where villagers and farmers move towards the jungle areas to gather herbs. A Couple of villagers spotted an elephant baby running around with another giant elephant collapsed on the ground. Villagers knew what they had to do and immediately contacted the wildlife department to take care of this situation.

This is actually a terrible situation as this elephant mother is a victim of a Hakka patas trap. The older elephant is dying, and the officers rushed into providing saline and other medicine to ease its pain in an attempt to get its strength back. Hakka Patas is a mixture of explosives usually hidden in vegetables and blows in the animal’s mouth upon consumption.

However, this young elephant is furious over the situation, and it is scared as well. Officers tried to calm this young elephant down in an attempt to keep it away from disturbing the medical treatments given to the elephant mother.

Finally, this baby elephant broke free rampaging through officers and onlookers at the scene. We will share another episode about catching and treating the baby elephant that unfortunately lost its mother.

Sri Lanka and Elephants.

In the beautiful island of Sri Lanka, Elephants roam the streets and through village areas freely in many regions of the country. The small island nation is full of elephants that are loved by most of the inhabitants of the island. Most educated in the country are continually fighting corruption and animal abuse especially towards the treasures that elephants are to the state as Sri Lankan elephants are known as the largest and the strongest among Asian elephants.

However, around farming villages where elephants raid crops, many conflicts are happening that have caused casualties to both sides. They have set a lot of fences and electric fences with barriers around many villages and farmlands around national parks and many massive forest reserves. These elephants often run into traps and wells placed along farms for water supply.

We humbly invite you to join us with a journey full of love and help to our treasured wild elephants in the paradise island of Sri Lanka.

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https://www.wildelephantvideo.com/a-baby-elephant-stays-by-to-protect-the-sick-elephant-mother/

Thursday, November 15, 2018

SMS alert to prevent elephant–train collisions


The committee appointed recently to prevent elephant–train collisions has submitted a proposal to introduce an SMS alert network to get public help to prevent such accidents.

There is also another proposal to run night mail trains during the daytime, a committee member, Project Director - Elephant Collisions, Railways Department, Irosh Perera said.

Under the SMS alert system, anyone who spots an elephant roaming near a railway line can immediately text the Railway control room and inform them of the situation. The Railway Department will also formulate a system to inform an engine driver immediately if a member of public informs the Control room via text message of a wild elephant nearby.

The Railway Department will soon introduce a hotline for the SMS service, Perera said.

There were several reports in the recent past of collisions of elephants with trains. It is reported that around 12 elephants have died within a very short period of time due to elephant–train collisions. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the public to provide the correct information on wild elephants to prevent further occurrence of such accidents, he said.

The committee has also paid attention on running night mail and freight trains in the daytime without disrupting the service of daytime passenger trains, he said.

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Tuesday, November 13, 2018

A Massive, Elephant-shaped Eco-villa Is Unveiled In Sri Lanka


Elephants are thought to bring good luck, and that’s certainly true for anyone lucky enough to stay in this elephant-shaped eco-resort in Sri Lanka. Located near the famous Yala National Park in southeast Sri Lanka, this unique villa is a 40-foot-tall, two-story elephant made entirely out of wood and straw. The stunning eco-villa is made entirely out of all-natural materials and follows eco-friendly practices throughout.

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Wednesday, November 07, 2018

A lazy elephant trapped in a farm well saved by Humans. (Ignores all help before)


This situation occurred in a rural region near farmlands away from the capital and urban cities of Sri Lanka. The situation is a problematic one mainly because of this elephant being trapped inside a deep well. This elephant is also a sluggish one with no intention of climbing out or with any attempt.
Citizens discovered this elephant and made the right call to inform the wildlife department about the situation. Officers rushed to the scene with logistics support required to get this elephant out. As soon as they arrived, they even spotted this elephant just standing still even without raising its trunk.

Officers got a path dug out of the mudded pit that was a well before and now they have to use a rope to guide this elephant out. The slow one sure loves to take time and finally decided to make a move.

Some had to tease the elephant with food to get this elephant to move, and it finally worked. Watch the full footage on this rescue operation and let us know about your thoughts.

Sri Lanka and Elephants.

In the beautiful island of Sri Lanka, Elephants roam the streets and through village areas freely in many regions of the country. The small island nation is full of elephants that are loved by most of the inhabitants of the island. Most educated in the country are continually fighting corruption and animal abuse especially towards the treasures that elephants are to the state as Sri Lankan elephants are known as the largest and the strongest among Asian elephants.

However, around farming villages where elephants raid crops, many conflicts are happening that have caused casualties to both sides. They have set a lot of fences and electric fences with barriers around many villages and farmlands around national parks and many massive forest reserves. These elephants often run into traps and wells placed along farms for water supply.

We humbly invite you to join us with a journey full of love and help to our treasured wild elephants in the paradise island of Sri Lanka.

Please credit and share this article with others using this link:
https://www.wildelephantvideo.com/a-lazy-elephant-trapped-in-a-farm-well-saved-by-humans-ignores-all-help-before/

Tuesday, November 06, 2018

Wild elephant threat on the rise


Colombo (News1st): Residents of Dambulla and Ampara charge that the number of wild elephants roaming in search of food and water has increased in the recent past.

A wild elephant which was roaming in Meegasweva, Dambulla causing inconveniences to the villagers has been captured by the wildlife officials. The News1st correspondent stated that during the past few days the wild elephant had damaged several houses, shops and crops.

The captured wild elephant has been relocated to safer grounds.

Meanwhile, another wild elephant in Karangawa, Ampara was captured by wildlife officials this morning (November 06). This was following complaints made by the residents of the area. According to a wildlife official, the wild elephant will be transferred to the Horowpathana elephant conservation center.

Further, a baby elephant which trapped inside a well in Thanthirimale, Anuradhapura was rescued by wildlife officials yesterday (November 05).

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GALEWELA: WILDLIFE RANGERS DRIVE AWAY WILD ELEPHANT HERD


Wildlife Conservation Department yesterday launched an operation to drive away a herd of
elephants that caused much havoc in the Galewela area, Rangers said. Residents of Galewela
had told their Divisional Secretary M.U. Nishantha that they were living in constant fear of life
from a herd of about 12 wild elephants roaming into the villages at dusk.

They said that the herd had pulled down the walls of several houses and destroyed crops and
hat their children often stayed back at home to avoid the wild elephants frequenting the village
roads till about 8 a.m.

Galewela Divisional Secretary and the ocers from Herathgama, Pibidunagama, and

Galkiriyagama Wildlife Conservation Department Oces launched the operation in the early hours of yesterday.

They drove away several jumbos from Dandubendiwewa village to the Ranawa Forest Reserve
about 12 miles away.

They said that they would continue the operation until the entire herd was driven away to the
Reserve.

Galewela Divisional Secretary and the ocers from Herathgama, Pibidunagama, and

Galkiriyagama Wildlife Conservation Department Oces launched the operation in the early hours of yesterday

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Saturday, November 03, 2018

2 elephants die in another Lanka train collision


COLOMBO: Two elephants were killed and another critically injured Sunday crossing railway tracks in Sri Lanka, officials said, in yet another tragic collision involving the protected animals and speeding trains, reports AFP.

A Jaffna-bound night train rammed into two elephants at Ambanpola, 150 kilometres (93 miles) north of Colombo, killing one and injuring the other. In a separate accident, a passenger train derailed after hitting and killing an elephant near Palugaswewa, 160 kilometres (100 miles) north-east of Colombo.

No passengers were injured in either accident.

“Train services have been disrupted, but we are working to remove the carcass and repair the track on the eastern line,” an official said by telephone.

Speed restrictions are imposed on trains passing through elephant habitats but these are difficult to enforce. Only 10 percent of Sri Lanka’s trains are believed to be equipped with speedometers, local media reported Sunday.

Two weeks ago, a passenger train struck and killed three elephants. A fortnight before that, a mother elephant and her two calves were hit and killed in the east of the country.

Sri Lanka considers elephants a national treasure and they are protected by law. But conflicts between humans and elephants near wildlife sanctuaries remains a problem.

Official figures show 1,200 elephants have been killed by humans in the past five years, with 375 people trampled to death by the beasts.

The government announced in August it would erect 2,651 kilometres (1,556 miles) of electric fencing to keep elephants out of villages bordering wildlife reserves.

It is estimated there are 7,500 wild elephants in Sri Lanka.

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Thursday, November 01, 2018

Injured elephant calf found near Kilinochchi Forest Reserve


Colombo (News1st): A five-month-old baby elephant, which has been attacked by a crocodile, was found by the residents of a village nearby to the Kilinochchi forest reserve. News1st correspondent in the area said the elephant which is three feet tall has been admitted to the Girithale Wildlife Hospital.

According to the veterinarians of the hospital three of its legs have been injured in the attack and the elephant is currently recovering.

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Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Sensors to warn trains of elephant crossings


In the wake of elephants being killed in train accidents, Sustainable Development, Wildlife and Regional Development Minister Sarath Fonseka yesterday said measures would be taken to implement high-tech sensors to prevent collisions between elephants and trains.

Speaking to reporters during a press conference at the United National Party (UNP) headquarters of Sirikotha, Fonseka yesterday said that his ministry had carried out tests to implement sensor systems to alert train drivers and help prevent accidents.

Fonseka said that prior to his appointment there were 83 incidents reported of elephants being hit by trains and after his appointment around 10 elephants were killed in three incidents.

Fonseka pointed out that the elephant population had risen during the past few decades.

“In 1985, 2,500 elephants were recorded and today that number has risen up to 7,000,” he added.

According to Fonseka, elephant habitats had increased due to the deforestation caused by development activities such as the Moragahakanda Dam Project and these populations had migrated to other sites, causing social issues.

“The elephants that lived in Moragahakanda have moved to places like Diyabeduma and those elephants were causing agricultural losses to the people who were living in the area. Once the Wayamba Ela Project starts, two-thirds of the habitat of elephants will be reduced.”

Responding to a question on the recent cases of leopards attacking people, he said that the Government would take action against those who killed animals listed as endangered species.

“People have to understand that killing a leopard is unacceptable. Those animals can be captured and relocated to safer areas.”

He pointed out that the Government had taken measures to raise awareness to prevent leopards being attacked.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Elephant which collided onto a train succumbs to injuries


Colombo (News1st): An elephant which was injured when a train plying from Colombo to Kankasanthure collided into it succumbed to its injuries last evening (October 22).

Wildlife Officers said although medical treatment was provided to the elephant since last morning it had died due to internal injuries. The train collided onto two elephants in Galgamuwas on the 21st of October. The other elephant succumbed to its injuries on the spot.

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‘Meena Gaya’ derails after elephant collision


Batticaloa bound ‘Meena Gaya’ intercity train has collided with a wild elephant yesterday and derailed, the Welikanda Police said.

The train plying from Colombo to Batticaloa has hit a female elephant around 2 a.m. on Monday morning between the Moragollagama and KonWewa railway stations near Welikanda.

The elephant believed to be about 20 years old was severely injured and wildlife veterinary surgeons have attended to the injured elephant, local media reports said.

The passengers of the train were not hurt due to the derailment.

Measures to re-rail the train has started promptly, the Railway Department said.

The Batticaloa bound train collided with an elephant on Sunday early morning also in Palugasweva area killing the elephant. The train derailed after striking the elephant. (Colombopage)

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Conspiracy to confine the two Sinharaja elephants


Due to the failed attempts to move the two wild elephants from the Sinharaja forest, the Wildlife Ministry is now making plans to confine the two elephants to an enclosed area within the same forest through Cabinet paper 18/1455/844/001, according to the Environment and nature protection centre.

Despite all environmental factors being available within the Sinharaja forest system, they are attempting to build the elephant detention centre in an area of 36 hectares, the centre said.

This is being built in the Parugala area in the Dispin Estate on land belonging to the State Plantations Corporation which is currently leased to the Hapugastenna Estate Company.

The residents and environmentalists warn that this environment is not suitable for these two elephants as it contains deep holes which are dangerous for them.

They pointed out that animals were also being hunted within this reserve and the latest killing of an elk is ample proof.

However, in 1940 there were around 18 wild elephants in the Sinharaja Forest and today only two remain. Since 1998 the forest has been gradually cleared and humans have been encroaching on forest lands paving the way for human animal conflicts. As a result of these confrontations, so far 15 persons have been killed by wild elephants.

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Human negligence causes death by elephants, says expert


“In most instances it’s not the elephants that kill humans, it’s the humans that get themselves killed by the elephants due to their stupidity and negligence,” said Dr Sumith Pilapitiya, former Director General of the Wildlife Department, delivering the monthly lecture of the Wildlife and Nature Protection Society (WNPS) at the BMICH on October 18.

Speaking on human–elephant conflict management, he said 70 percent of human deaths by elephants are due to human irresponsibility.

He also said that the human deaths caused by elephants were a mere fraction when compared to the number of deaths due to motor accidents. Humans should take more responsibility for their lives. In most instances, it is people who have been under the influence of alcohol who have been killed because they challenge elephants rather than avoid them.

Dr. Pilapitiya said there were instances where people had been so negligent that they have crashed into elephants and got themselves killed. “If we are more responsible and do not act stupidly, we can reduce the number of human deaths significantly,” he said.

Dr. Pilapitiya said that in the 1950s, Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew is known to have said he hoped someday that Singapore would be like Ceylon, but from the mid 1970s onwards, every successive government in Sri Lanka has hoped that Sri Lanka would be like Singapore. “But we are far from Singapore today. One of the main reasons is that we continue to keep repeating the same mistakes without learning from them. When it comes to the management of the human–elephant conflict (HEC), once again I think we are in a similar situation.”

Human–elephant conflict

Referring to research and statistics obtained from Dr. Prithiviraj Fernando and the Centre of Conservation and Research (CCR), Dr. Pilapitiya said in Sri Lanka there are known to be about 6,000 elephants in the wild. Sri Lanka has the highest density of Asian elephants as well as a very high population density of humans on a rapidly declining natural resource base.

“Unless we plan our development better, conflict is inevitable,” he warned. “HEC cannot be eliminated fully. As long as there are humans and as long as there are elephants, there is going to be conflict. The only thing we can do is manage and minimise the conflict.”

The HEC conflict started increasing with the large-scale irrigation and agricultural development drive initiated in the 1950s. In 2000, 150 elephants died while only 63 humans were killed by elephants, but in 2017, 256 elephants died while 87 humans were killed by elephants.

The committee for the preservation of wildlife appointed in 1959 came up with a plan to manage the HEC in the island by driving all the elephants from developing areas to protected areas of the Department of Wildlife and Conservation (DWC) through identified corridors and fencing them in.

There were three approaches to managing the HEC: (1) translocation of problem elephants to protected areas of the Wildlife Department; (2) large-scale elephant drives from areas identified for development to DWC protected areas; and (3) confining elephants to DWC protected areas with the use of physical, biological and psychological barriers.

If this strategy was successful, the HEC would have been minimal today. A survey done by the CCR shows that 44 percent of the land area of the island is shared by humans and elephants. Dr. Pilapitiya said research had shown that capture and translocation was not successful nor could biological fences confine elephants within protected areas.

Relocation not the answer

Dr. Pilapitiya said most national parks already have the full number they are able to accommodate, and driving more elephants into such DWC protected areas would result in the death of many elephants and calves due to starvation. He mentioned that one drive had cost the government Rs. 62 million to relocate 225 elephants and calves in a Wildlife protected area. The end result was that the problem was not solved as it was only the she-elephants and calves that were driven, while the single males and male groups had remained to forage on crops. Moreover, many of these elephants that were driven died of starvation. “No one was held accountable for the fiasco and the waste of public funds. It was the development sector that should have been held accountable as the Wildlife Department was under severe pressure to carry out orders.”

The National Elephant Conservation Policy (NECP) which is in effect today was drawn up by a multi-stakeholder committee and approved by the Cabinet in 2006. Some of the goals of the policy are to ensure the long-term survival of wild elephants in Sri Lanka to mitigate the human–elephant conflict and to promote scientific research as the basis of conservation and management in the wild. Some key points are that managing as many viable populations of elephants as the land could support and that landholders will accept both within and outside the system of protected areas. The policy also specifically states that when elephants lose their range, they die.

Plans cannot drive policies

Dr. Pilapitiya said a new plan for resolving the HEC was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers on August 7, 2018, which is more in line with the 1959 plan and contradicts certain aspects of the 2006 policy. “To the best of my knowledge, policies should be driving plans and plans should not be driving policies,” he stressed.

He also said there are many positives in the recent Cabinet paper such as constructing 2,651 kilometres of electric fencing within identified areas which shows that there is still room to construct the fences on ecological boundaries rather than administrative boundaries. “It is imperative that inasmuch as the new fences are constructed on ecological boundaries, all existing fences should be relocated to ecological boundaries,” Dr Pilapitiya emphasised. Among his concerns was arming those who are to be entrusted with maintaining the fences with sophisticated weapons that are capable of killing an elephant in its tracks. “Accidents do happen!” he said.

Dr. Pilapitya said development plans should be made accepting the elephants’ presence and by working around them rather than driving them away. “A win–win situation could be achieved by relocating the development project rather than creating conflict.” He also said scientific findings and past experience should govern the decision-making. “All options should be looked at. Community-based village fences and seasonal agricultural fences would be a viable alternative if it is not possible to construct fences on the ecological boundaries.”

“These were some things that I intended to do when I was the Director General of the Wildlife and Conservation Department, but I resigned as I was unable to perform my duty due to political pressure,” Dr Pilapitiya said. “As conservationists, we can lobby and convince decision-makers to make correct decisions rather than repeating the mistakes we made in the past.”

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Monday, October 22, 2018

Wild elephant herd wreak havoc


A herd of wild elephants that roamed into several villages including Mapakada and Dambagalla
in the Mahiyangana Division had caused much havoc destroying cultivated land
and damaging houses, o cials said.

Villagers said the herd of about six jumbos roamed into the villages at dusk and destroyed
chena cultivation and home garden crops.

Residents said they were living in constant fear to their life and that they would not move
out after dusk even to obtain treatment for an urgent

We light fires and elephant crackers to scare away the marauding herd but to no avail. Our
children often stay back at home without attending school in fear of any possible danger
frequenting the jungle track. We have been facing this danger for more than 40 years,
they said
illness. They said the herd from the Randenigala Forest Reserve roamed into the human
habitats across the Mahaweli River in search of fodder and water and frequented the villages
in the nights.“We light fires and elephant crackers to scare away the marauding herd
but to no avail. Our children often stay back at home without attending school in fear of
any possible danger frequenting the jungle track. We have been facing this danger for more
than 40 years,
” they said.

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Two wild elephants killed, one in‐ jured hit by trains


Two elephants were killed and another elephant was critically injured in two separate train
accidents reported from Palugaswewa and Kekirawa during the weekend.

Two wild elephants collided with a night mail train travelling from Colombo to Kankesanthurai
on Saturday night in Kekirawa.

One of the elephants was killed in the accident while the other elephant was critically injured.

Meanwhile in another accident reported from Palugaswewa, an elephant was reported
killed after being knocked down with the ‘Meenagaya’ train en route to Batticaloa
from Colombo.the collision had occurred early yesterday. According to the Railway Control

Room, the particular train had derailed due to the accident that occurred in Palugaswewa
area. As a result, the train services had been con ned to only one railway track while the
services was limited to the Kekirawa area.

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ELECTRONIC SENSOR DEVICES TO BE INSTALLED


In a bid to prevent train-elephant collisions, the Railways Department is planning to install electronic sensor devices which will help detect the presence of elephants and other animals on railway tracks thus sending a warning signal to the train driver.

This comes in the wake of several Elephant deaths in recent times and train derailments due to collisions with elephants with the most recent incident happening yesterday where two elephants died and a train derailed in separate incidents.

A wild elephant was killed and another critically injured when they collided with the night mail train travelling from Colombo to Kankesanthurai in Galgamuwa in the wee hours of yesterday.

Another wild elephant was killed when it collided with a train plying to Batticaloa from Colombo at around 1 am yesterday morning. The Batticaloa bound train derailed after striking the elephant in the Palugasweva area. The General Manager of the Railway Department Dilantha Fernando yesterday said plans are afoot to install sensor devices at identified places in order to prevent further accidents involving trains and elephants.

He said such devices will be able to detect the presence of elephants or other animals on railway tracks, and send a warning signal to the driver.

The installation will take place as a part of a special programme undertaken by Sri Lanka Railways in collaboration with the Wildlife and Conservation Department.

According to General Manager Fernando, Transport Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva has given instructions to the Railway Department to take immediate action to prevent elephant-train collisions.

Fernando also said that this special programme will cost Rs.100 million since a sensor device will cost around Rs. 1 million. “The project will take around eight months to complete,” he also said.

“The Minister has promised us to table a Cabinet proposal requesting funds for this project. We are positive about receiving a grant for this project from the Asian Development Bank. Either way, we are going to start this project with whatever the funds available, local or foreign, as soon as the Committee which was appointed to inquire into this matter submits its report to the Minister,” Fernando also said.

Fernando observed that frequent elephant-train collisions is a serious matter, and said that the Railway Department will take every measure to prevent the unfortunate situation.

Fernando also said that an inquiry is underway at Department level at present with regards to recent elephant-train collision incidents. “The Department is yet to receive the report of the said inquiry,” he added.

Asked if slowing down the trains in identified areas where such occurrences are common is one such measure, Fernando said that such a step may not drastically affect the train schedule. While agreeing that the train crew members should be more sensitive to the protection of these animals, Fernando said that the Wildlife Department is conducting programmes to raise awareness among the train workers.

Meanwhile, Department of Wildlife and Conservation Director General G.C. Sooriyabandara said that the Wildlife Department is to work together with the Railway Department regarding this special programme to prevent train-elephant collisions.

According to Sooriyabandara, approximately 220 or more elephant deaths have been recorded during 2018 among which around 11 deaths have been elephant-train collisions with the latest being two more wild elephant deaths caused by a train-elephant collision reported from the Ambanpola and Palugaswewa areas.

Meanwhile, a Transportation Ministry release states that the Committee appointed to make recommendations to prevent elephant-train collisions has made five recommendations which will be presented to the Transport Minister next Thursday (25).

According to the statement, the Committee has recommended the clearing of shrubs in an area up to 30 metres on either side of the railway tracks, enforcing train speed limits, building paths (overpasses and underpasses) for elephant crossings at multiple locations, removal of obstructions along elephant crossings at locations with bridges and erecting electric fences at places where elephants enter.

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Sunday, October 21, 2018

Elephant calves die in Yala Park due to malnutrition


COLOMBO (News 1st) – Environmental Scientist and Elephant Ethologist, Dr. Sumith Pilapitiya revealed recently that more baby elephants were dying in the Yala National Park due to malnutrition.

He noted that 70% of human deaths caused due to elephants is solely because of human irresponsibility.

These reports surface at a time when a large number of elephants also die due to train accidents.

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Saturday, October 20, 2018

Middle‐aged man killed by wild ele‐ phant


A 40-year-old man had been killed by a wild elephant in the Pulasthipura area on Thursday
night. The man, who had been on a pilgrimage to the Somawathiya Cheithiya had been
confronted by the elephant near the Sungawila Wildlife Office on the Polonnaruwa-somawathiya
Road.

The deceased had been identised as Nalin Dhammika of Hali Ela, Badulla. The
Pulasthipura Police are investigating.

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Thursday, October 18, 2018

PC killed by wild elephant


A Police Constable riding on a motorcycle was attacked by a wild elephant and died on
admission at the Maradankadawala hospital.

The victim PC 70790 W.M. Ranjan Wijesekara, attached to the Modara Police was a resident
of Ethungama Road in Tirappane. The PC on leave was on his way home after visiting

Galkulama when the motorcycle hit against a jumbo moving across the road near

Gnanikulam Bridge at Thirappane on the Jaffna-kandy A-9 Road.

The PC on leave was on his way home after visiting Galkulama when the motorcycle hit
against a jumbo moving across the road

Investigations revealed the jumbo had attacked him when the motorcycle toppled on the
road. Residents of the area who rushed to the scene informed the Thirappane Police and
the offcer was admitted to the Maradankadawala hospital only to be pronounced dead.

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10 elephants killed in train accidents in last 10 months


In the last 10 months, 10 wild elephants died after being hit by trains

The Railway Department stated that last year 7 wild elephants died in train accidents.

The most recent accident took place last night where A wild elephant was hit by a train travelling from Poonewa and Welikanda.

In a separate incident that took place on september 18th , 4 elephants were killed after being hit by a moving oil tanker between Habarana and Palugaswewa.

On the night of the 6th of October, Another three elephants were killed when a moving train hit them between Namalgama and Polonnaruwa.

The wildlife officials charge that wild elephants are being hit by moving trains as the locomotives travel at excessively high speeds, through elephant habitations.

Officials have complained that though signboards display the speed limit as being 40 kilometres per hour, some drivers do not obey these limit.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Constable dies after motorcycle collides with elephant


One person has died after the motorcycle he was riding crashed into a wild elephant near the Gnanikkulama Bridge on the Kandy-Jaffna (A9) Road.

The accident has taken place near the Gnanikkulama Bridge when the motorcyclist, who had been travelling to Kekirawa from Anuradhapura, crashed into a wild elephant crossing the road.

The motorcyclist, who sustained critical injuries in the accident, passed away following admission to Maradankadawala Hospital.

The deceased has been identified as a 32-year-old police constable attached to Modara police station, residing in Ulagalla area in Tirappane.

The body of the deceased is currently placed at the mortuary in Tirappane and the postmortem examination is scheduled to be conducted today (17).

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Tuesday, October 16, 2018

* Ali Roshan and six others summoned before Special High Court over illegal possession of elephants

Oct 16, Colombo: The three-member Special High Court-at-Bar has issued summons on seven defendants including Niraj Roshan alias 'Ali Roshan' to appear before the court on October 26.

The defendants are charged with illegal possession of four elephants without valid licenses and racketeering.

The three-member Special High Court order issued the order after considering the indictments filed by the Attorney General.

Among the other suspects are a former Deputy Director of the Wildlife Department Upali Padmasiri and the officer in charge of registering elephants at the Wildlife Department Priyangika Sanjeewani.

The Attorney General has filed a case against the seven defendants on 27 charges under the Public Properties Act, with regard to the possession of four elephants without licenses and racketeering

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Wild elephant captured in Aselapura


Colombo (News1st): Wildlife officials have captured a wild elephant who was roaming in Aselapura last evening (October 15).

Officers stated the elephant who had been roaming around the villages of Aselapura and Welikanda was also reponsible for the deaths of four individuals.

The News1st correspondent in the area said that an operation was carried out for over three days to capture this wild elephant. Wildlife Officials from Welikanda, Ampara, Polonaruwa and Giritale took part in the operation.

Steps have been taken to relocate the elephant to the Horowpathana Elephant Sanctuary.

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Wild elephant captured in Aselapura


Colombo (News1st): Wildlife officials have captured a wild elephant who was roaming in Aselapura last evening (October 15).

Officers stated the elephant who had been roaming around the villages of Aselapura and Welikanda was also reponsible for the deaths of four individuals.

The News1st correspondent in the area said that an operation was carried out for over three days to capture this wild elephant. Wildlife Officials from Welikanda, Ampara, Polonaruwa and Giritale took part in the operation.

Steps have been taken to relocate the elephant to the Horowpathana Elephant Sanctuary.

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Rouge elephant captured



A rogue elephant that caused much havoc in several villages in Welikanda and its environs
was captured early yesterday by the Wildlife Conservators.

A team of Wildlife officials under the guidance of Veterinary Surgeon Dr. Sameera Kalingu

Arachchi carried out the raid and captured the rogue elephant roaming in Aselapura in Welikanda.

Wildlife officers said that the beast that roamed into the human habitats had
claimed the lives of several people and destroyed houses and property.

Officials said the rogue elephant would be released into a wildlife zone away from human
habitats.

The rogue elephant would be released into a wildlife zone away from human habitats

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She elephant saved from poachers


A she elephant in the Yala sanctuary caught in a trap laid by poachers to kill other animal
was saved and released to the forest by the wildlife conservators in Monaragala.

A team of wildlife officials of the Udawalawa Elephant Transit Home under Veterinary Surgeon

Dr. Malaka Abeywardene had rushed to the scene on information from the Monaragala
wildlife office and saved the jumbo and released it after providing treatment to the injuries
caused by the trap.

Dr. Abeyratne said the pregnant she elephant was about 15 years old. He said the poachers
had laid the trap to kill other animals for meat but the she elephant had been caught causing
injuries to its front left limb.

A senior wildlife officials said they would monitor the movements of the she elephant until
it recovers.

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Sunday, October 14, 2018

Group searches ways to end elephant carnage on rail tracks


Members of a committee appointed to prevent elephants being killed by speeding trains
are now on the field trying to identify places from were elephant herds cross the rail
tracks, the general manager of the Railways Department, Dilantha Fernando, told the Sunday Times.
The committee is made up of members of the Department of Wildlife and Railways as well
as an engineer.
The most recent tragedy was last Saturday night when three elephants were dismembered
by a night mail train running from Batticaloa to Colombo. The deaths took place at nearby
Welikanda railway station. Last month, at Palugaswewa area, an oil tanker train killed four
elephants including a calf. One elephant was pregnant.
Mr Fernando said panel members are on the ground at the northern and eastern railroad
tracks to identify elephant passes that overlap rail tracks.
“On Thursday, they covered the railway line between Giritale to Batticaloa and continued
to travel to Trincomalee on Fr i d ay,
’ ’ he said. Inspections will continue on the JaKna rail line up to Maha Wewa area.
Mr Fernando said an early warning system developed by engineer Iresh Perera who is on
the committee, will be considered.
“That will announce to the train operator at a distance of a kilometre that an elephant is
approaching the tracks while deterring the animal using low-frequency sound,
” he said.
A unit could cost Rs 1 million, he said.
Mr Fernando said a proposal will be submitted to the ADB calling for a grant to fund the
project.
The Railway is also xing speedometers and a mech a n i z ed drive r response system to
automatically slow down, or stop trains if the train operator fails to respond in time.
He said that the new system would log critical details of accidents, footage, and braking
speed in a black box tted in the locomotive cabin.
Engineer Iresh Perea, who has built a system that repels elephants by activating infrasound
( low- frequency sound), said it will be installed at a few locations.
But this is just one solution, he said. They also identied areas that require overhead
passes.

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Don't drive our jumbos to death


Humans and wild elephants have lived ‘together’ for aeons in Sri Lanka. In fact, the country
has bestowed upon elephants, domesticated ones of course, an honour not given to any
other creature – that of carrying the Sacred Tooth Relic of Lord Buddha around the streets
of Kandy to be venerated by large crowds.

As a country we are also unique – drawing in precious dollars as tourists converge here to
see the largest land animal, the elephant in the wild and a little distance away the largest
marine animal – the blue whale in the seas surrounding the country.

Where on earth, except in Sri Lanka, can one see a majestic elephant peacefully feeding in
the jungles sandwiching the Dambulla-Habarana Road sending ripples of excitement
among motorists and passers-by or as many as 300, mostly cow elephants and their babies,
picking at the tasty morsels of tender grass which carpet the Minneriya and Kaudulla
tankbeds, as “oohs” and “aahs” emanate from both locals and foreigners at such a “spectacular
sight?

Over the years though, with unplanned expansion of human habitats and development
into the homes of these animals, there has been conflict between human and elephant.
How, as a nation, should Sri Lanka go about mitigating the Human Elephant Conflict
(HEC)?

The answer is simple and obvious – go by evidence-based knowledge gathered over the
years and learn through bitter lessons from previous actions which have had disastrous
consequences.

So the humble plea from all those lovers not only of wild elephants but all animals is:

“Let’s not repeat the tragic mistakes made earlier. Let’s not go back to square one, as we

Don't drive our jumbos to death have enough evidence to move forward where both humans and wild elephants can live together, with a little adjustment.”

And such a plea is for selfish reasons as well – because we need to keep the ecosystem balance
for the very survival of humans!

In an exclusive interview with the Sunday Times on ‘HEC Management – Will we ever
learn from our past mistakes?’ the former Director-General (DG) of the Department of
Wildlife Conservation (DWC), Dr. Sumith Pilapitiya stressed that studies in Sri Lanka have
shown that ‘translocation’
‘drives’ and ‘concenement’ are not a viable management strategy
and will jeopardize the survival of Sri Lanka’s elephants, both within and outside the
Protected Areas (PAs).
“There will be no benent towards reducing the HEC,
” Dr. Pilapitiya was emphatic, just a
few days before he was scheduled to give a public lecture. Govt. should implement cabinetapproved
policy, former DWC DG, tells

Elephant habitats are declining and the frequency and severity of the HEC are increasing,
calling for alternative approaches to HEC management, he said.
Continuing to attempt to restrict elephants to PAs of the DWC will not reduce the HEC because
it requires reducing their current habitat to about 30 percent of what they use at
present. This cannot be done without killing over 4,000 elephants, it is learnt.
Dr. Pilapitiya is crystal clear in his explanation: “Most National Parks (which are part of
the PAs) are already at or even beyond carrying capacity and hold the maximum number of
elephants they can support. Additionally, National Parks are generally primary or mature
forests providing only sub-optimal habitats for edge species, such as elephants. Elephant
density in primary/secondary forests is 0.2 elephants per square kilometre, while savannah
grasslands and scrub jungle can retain around 3 elephants per square kilometre. Since
the DWC’s PAs have minimal human intervention, biological succession results in the conversion
of degraded lands within PAs into secondary forests. Therefore, the DWC’s PAs are
unable to carry a high density of elephants.”

The situation in Uda Walawe National Park is a case in point, he says citing an example.
Minneriya, Kaudulla and Maduru Oya are National Parks that are exceptions due to their
habitat being largely grasslands.

The primary reason for elephants to gather in such large numbers on the Minneriya
and Kaudulla tank-beds is for the fodder they get from the grasslands, which are nourished
by nutrient-rich sediments deposited there during the period of inundation. With the
water from the reservoirs being released for agriculture, a growth of new and succulent
grass emerges on the exposed tank-beds. This is why there are 300-400 elephants during
‘The Gathering’ in August and September, Dr. Pilapitiya points out. However, such parks
also already carry the number of elphants they can support.

According to him, since the 1950s the strategy for HEC Management in Sri Lanka has been
three-fold:
Capture and translocate problem ele
phants;
Conduct large-scale elephant drives in an attempt to move all elephants from the areas
earmarked for development into PAs; and
Concene the elephants within the PAs with barriers.

Had this strategy been successful, the HEC should have been solved or be on the decline.
But the data indicate the opposite. Despite implementing this strategy for more than 50
years, a survey conducted by the Centre for Conservation and Research (CCR) has shown
that there are elephants in 44% of the country that is outside PAs, says Dr. Pilapitiya, explaining
that basically, these elephants are co-existing with humans, albeit with some
level of conflict.
“While it may appear that humans and elephants can be separated, with elephants being
concerned to PAs, after more than 50 years of trying, if we realize that it cannot be done,
there seems to be merit in re-evaluating and revising that strategy. The main reasons elephants
cannot be limited to PAs are due to the PAs being at their carrying capacities. Elephants
are also an ‘edge species’ and there is better elephant habitat outside. So it is not
surprising that over two thirds of ele- phants live outside the areas controlled by the DWC.

Dr. Pilapitiya is quick to point out that research has shown that elephant drives, conducted
mainly in response to political and social pressures have failed to eliminate crop raiding
elephants from the drive areas. While herds composed of females and young tend to be
driven, the crop raiding males often remain behind.
Communities have confermed that elephants remaining after drives become more aggressive
and develop into a bigger threat to people. Construction of electric fences along the
administrative boundaries of the DWC PAs has failed to yield the expected outcome of HEC
mitigation, since DWC PAs are often surrounded by elephant habitat. Therefore, this results
in elephants being on both sides of the fence and fence breaking by elephants, it is
understood.

Realizing this, the DWC led a multistakeholder process to develop a National Elephant
Conservation Policy, says Dr. Pilapitiya, adding that it was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers
in 2006. The policy states that “when elephants lose their range, they die”.
It further adds: “The prospects for long-term survival for the elephant in Sri Lanka are
good. There is already a well-established PA network, which supports a proportion of the
elephant population. However, a significant proportion of the elephant population ranges
outside of the PAs. Ensuring the future survival of elephants that range inside and outside
PAs is both central and crucial to the conservation of elephants.”
Dr. Pilapitiya stresses that if Sri Lanka is serious about the conservation of elephants in the
wild, we should learn from our mistakes and past experiences and implement the provisions
of the Cabinetapproved policy and not try to limit elephants to the DWC PAs.

The former DWC DG Dr. Sumith Pilapitiya will deliver a Lecture on ‘Human Elephant Con-
flict Management – Will we ever learn from our past mistakes?’ on October 18 (Thursday)
at 6 p.m. at the Jasmine Hall, BMICH, Colombo 7.

Organized by the Wildlife and Nature Protection Society (WNPS), the lecture is open to
members and non-members and entry is free of charge.
Prior to the lecture next week, when asked by the Sunday Times as a former DWC DG, what
he thinks of the DWC need to procure 2,567 AK 47 assault rites, Dr. Pilapitiya said: “I feel
that DWC officers need weapons more sophisticated than the repeater shot guns they have
at present, for anti-poaching operations because currently some poachers are better
armed than DWC officers. The DWC has lost officers in battles with poachers. However, I
am no weapons expert. So, I am not sure whether the most suitable weapon is an AK 47.”

To the query that the Cabinet Paper of July 18, 2018 is not on anti-poaching, but requests
that these weapons be procured for HEC management and what his views are, he said that
the HEC has two participants -- humans and elephants. As officers of the DWC whose
mandate is to conserve wildlife, no officer should be shooting an elephant.
“This means that the weapon could be to deal with the other stakeholder, who is a human.
DWC officers cannot shoot people either, so I am at a loss to understand why such a sophisticated
weapon is needed. For personal protection, DWC officers may need a weapon
but in my opinion, it should not be a weapon that could kill an elephant instantly,
” added

Dr. Pilapitiya who is an Environmental Scientist.

Dr. Pilapitiya briefy held the post of DWC DG before resigning on “matters of principle”.

He is researching elephant social behaviour in the Yala, Minneriya and Kaudulla National
Parks and their surrounding landscapes.

Echoing serious concerns about suggestions to restrict all wild elephants to PAs, the Head
of the Centre for Conservation and Research (CCR), Dr. Prithiviraj Fernando said that such
was the thinking about 50 years ago, which led to an increase in the HEC and “killed lots of
elephants”.

Modern research has shown the way and that’s why the National Elephant Conservation
Policy was developed in 2006, says Dr. Fernando, painting grim images of the results of
‘limiting’ wild elephants to PAs.
“The elephants driven and restricted to PAs, which would mostly be non-problem causing
cow elephants and their babies, as well as elephants that were in the PAs, starve to death
due to exceeding of the carrying capacity,
” he said with emotion, pointing out that the elephants
which are left behind in human habitation areas after drives, become very aggressive
because they were very fearful of humans after being severely harassed by humans in
their bid to relocate them. Hence, the HEC increases in drive areas.
Going back to attempts to restrict elephants to PAs will severely escalate the HEC and kill
lots of females and young ones, reasons Dr. Fernando, appealing to the authorities not to
revisit such disastrous attempts. “It will also nullify all the forward steps taken in mitigating
the HEC and send Sri Lanka down a very slippery slope, having a severe adverse impact
on elephant conservation.”

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Friday, October 12, 2018

Elephant killed after falling into a canal


Colombo (News1st): An elephant died after it fell into a canal in Muhunuketha, Welikanda last evening (October 12).

The elephant that had a wound on its leg was treated by the wildlife officials a few days ago.

The 8.5 meters tall elephant was frequently seen at the Somawathiya forest reserve and was around 30 years of age.

The postmortem examination was conducted by the Ggirithala veterinary office.

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Thursday, October 11, 2018

Example Title


Oct 11, Colombo: The committee appointed to make recommendations to prevent the deaths of wild elephants by plying trains has begun observing the movements of elephants at points along rail tracks frequented by them.

From today until this Sunday (15), the committee will conduct observations along the rail tracks from Maho Junction to Trincomalee, Batticaloa, Anuradhapura, Thalaimannar and Kankasanthurai, the state radio reported.

Once observations are complete, within the five days, they will draw plans on the specific course of action to be taken to prevent elephants being hit by trains.

The final draft of the plan will be submitted to Minister of transport Nimal Siripala De Silva on the 25th of this month.

Earlier this week three young elephants were killed when they were hit by a passenger train plying to Colombo in the North Central Province. Four elephants including pregnant elephant were killed when a fuel tanker train plying from Orugodawatta, Colombo to Batticaloa collided with a herd of elephants crossing the Colombo-Gal Oya railway line in Puwakpitiya, Habarana last month.

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Fight between elephants leaves one dead


A fight between two elephants resulted in the death of one that sustained severe injuries
and broke its hip joint.
Hambantota Wildlife Officer J.A.P. Wijayakumara said the two male elephants at Katuwewa
in Hambantota had fought each other during the mating season to attract female elephan…
from their herd.
He said the wildlife officers even lit elephant crackers to stop the fight but couldn’t prevent
the tragedy. He said the elephant died while receiving medical treatment.

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Heartbreaking moment officials treat elephant struck by train in Sri Lanka


Heartbreaking moment officials treat elephant struck by train in Sri Lanka

This is the moment officials and villagers desperately tried to save an injured elephant that had been hit by a train in Sri Lanka.

Footage captured on October 10 in Welikanda shows the stricken elephant in a pit of mud as curious locals watch on.

The animal had been hit by a train on the Colombo-Batticaloa line on Tuesday night (October 9) and discovered the following morning.

Veterinary surgeons of Giritale Wildlife Office arrived on the scene and treated the critically injured elephant.

The animal thrashed around in the mud but was unable to right itself.

There has not been any update on the elephant's condition as of Wednesday (October 11).

A report for Sri Lanka's parliament showed that in 2016, almost 90 people were killed by elephants, while 279 elephants were killed by people.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Elephant injured in collision with ‘Meenagaya’ dies


The wild elephant which was in critical condition after colliding with the ‘Meenagaya’ Batticaloa-Colombo express train has died, stated Ada Derana reporter.

The accident had occurred at around 9.45 pm last night (09) and wild life officials have been treating the elephant for its injuries.

However, the critical condition of the elephant and massive internal bleeding had caused the elephant to die, stated Wildlife officials.

The Veterinary Unit of the Wildlife Department will be conducting the postmortem of the elephant tomorrow (11).

The accident had occurred in Monarathenna-Welikanda area on the Batticaloa-Colombo railway track.

No damage to the train or to the railway track has been reported.

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Speeding train collides with another elephant


A speeding train on the Colombo-Batticaloa railway line has collided with a wild elephant near Welikanda area last night (09) and the elephant is currently in critical condition, said Ada Derana reporter.

The Meena Gaya intercity express train, which had been en route to Batticaloa from Colombo Fort, had collided with the elephant last night at around 9.45 p.m.

However, no damages have been caused to the railway track or the train due to the accident, according to Ada Derana reporter.

Reportedly, veterinary surgeons of Giritale Wildlife Office have arrived at the scene and commenced giving treatment to the critically wounded elephant.

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Wednesday, October 03, 2018

Retired soldier killed in elephant attack


A retired army soldier had died this morning (03) due to an attack by a wild elephant in Indigahawewa area in Eppawala, according to Ipalogama Police.

The deceased is identified as S.M. Ranjith Rathnayake, a 48-year-old retired army soldier and father of three residing in Walayakulam village, Indigahawewa of Tirappane Divisional Secretariat.

The deceased had been travelling on a motorcycle to ‘Ali Sthanaya’ junction in Tirappane with his uncle at around 05.30 a.m. today when two wild elephants had obstructed their path.

The two individuals had then fled the scene to save their lives leaving the motorcycle behind.

Assuming that the two elephants had left the location, the deceased and his uncle had returned to the location where they had abandoned the motorcycle.

One of the two elephants had then charged towards the two individuals and attacked the retired army soldier.

He had died on the spot after sustaining critical injuries in the attack, the police said.

The residents charge that their village is constantly under threat due to wild elephants and the lack of proper maintenance of the elephant-proof fence has caused a casualty in this manner.

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