Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Wildlife circuit bungalows to be closed for elephant survey


The Wildlife Conservation Department today said all circuit bungalows of the department would be closed for three-days in September for tourists due to a survey of wild elephants.

It said the country-wide survey would be carried out on September 23,24 and 25.

The department informed that it would not be reserving any circuit bungalow for the tourists on the three days.(TK)

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Hobbling elephant calf found to be genetically deformed


The Wildlife Department says that the wild elephant calf found in Suriyawewa with a disability had been diagnosed as congenitally deformed.

A group of Wildlife officers found the 1-year-old calf on Sunday during a mission in Suriyawewa to chase away wild elephants that are encroaching the surrounding villages in Hambantota.

The calf which had external wounds was hobbling using the trunk because of its deformity.

Later, the calf was taken away by the wildlife staff to be treated.

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Now, a hanging fence to prevent human-elephant conflict

The fence, designed in Sri Lanka, will be tried out on a 3-km stretch
The Forests Department will now try out a solar-powered “hanging fence” to deter elephants from entering human habitations and raiding crops in a village on the fringes of the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve.

For long, the residents of Thorapalli have been complaining of elephants raiding their farms, and this has prompted the Forests Department to try out on a three-km stretch the new fence that was first designed in Sri Lanka.

The department staff said that over the last few months, three elephants – two tuskers aged between 15 and 18, and a single makhna (tuskless elephant), known to locals as “Bharathan,” and said to be aged between 35 and 40 frequently entered the human settlements and the farms surrounding Thorapalli.

Though the elephants have posed no threat to humans so far, with many of the local residents co-existing with the animals, the three elephants have started raiding crops in the area.

Residents apprehensive

Many residents fear that this could worsen into a human-elephant conflict.

The fear heightened a couple of weeks ago, when four persons, including three children, crossed paths with one of the three elephants.

They fell and sustained minor injuries while trying to flee the spot. A.K. Ulaganathan, Field Director of the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve, told The Hindu that the department would begin installing the fence in the coming days.

Till then, anti-depredation squad members posted in the area would chase the elephants away when they entered the human habitations after dusk. The fence is designed in such a way that stainless steel wires hang from a post or a similar structure.

Hanging 3 ft apart from each other, the wires sway gently in the wind and make it difficult for the elephants to get through without receiving a small shock, said N. Mohanraj, environmentalist and honorary wildlife warden, who is assisting the forest department in setting up the fence.

The need to redesign fences has come up as the elephants have found ingenious ways of getting through them in the Gudalur area, including slamming the fence with broken tree branches. Elephant trenches in the area are also to be strengthened, officials added.

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PETA urges boycott of famous Sri Lanka attractions

The international animal rights organisation PETA has urged tourists to avoid Sri Lanka’s elephant attractions, including the famous state-run Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage and celebrations of the Buddhist festival of Esala.

Sri Lanka’s rapid increase in tourism has led to a massive rise in the “shameful abuse” of elephants in the country, PETA said,

Elephant “attractions” that chain the animals, use bullhooks, and offer elephant rides often describe themselves as “sanctuaries” or “orphanages” in order to dupe tourists into believing that they’re ethical, PETA said.

“Until tourists stop paying to ride them, elephants will continue to face exploitation and abuse. If you’re visiting Sri Lanka, please refuse to ride elephants, avoid visiting any attraction that offers or endorses elephant rides, and steer clear of festivals in which elephants are paraded. This includes the Pinnawala Elephant “Orphanage”, Dehiwala Zoo, and Kandy Esala Perahera festival.”

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Thursday, August 09, 2018

Young Elephant Saved From Starvation


This young disabled skinny elephant cannot take care of itself very well, it is very difficult to move properly. People who performed field missions found this one-year-old elephant in Hambantota, Sri Lanka. It is almost impossible to cure the forefoot's natural deformation. The elephant is sent to the Udawalawe National Zoo in Sri Lanka for treatment.

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Wednesday, August 01, 2018

* President directs to expedite erecting 2500 kilometers of electric fence to minimize human-elephant conflict


June 30, Colombo: Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena has instructed relevant authorities to expedite the construction of of new fences island wide through a systematic program to keep the elephants away from the villages.

The President has given the order during a discussion at the Presidential secretariat yesterday (29) on maintaining the existing elephant fences.

Pointing out the need to maintain the elephant fences properly in preventing the human-elephant conflict, the President instructed the officials to renovate the inactive electric fences and fix the shortcomings.

It has been pointed out at the discussion that 1860 Civil Defense Force have been deployed for maintaining the electric fences but that force is not enough to maintain the 4000 kilometers of fences island wide.

Accordingly, the President instructed the relevant authorities to take steps to fill the vacancies soon.

The President also gave instructions to continue giving the daily allowance for food expenses to the members of the Civil Defense Force, and pointed out the need to initiate training programs for them.

Minister of Sustainable Development, Wildlife and Regional Development Sarath Fonseka, Ministry Secretary APG Kithsiri, Secretary to the Ministry of Defense, Kapila Waidyaratne, Chief of Defense Staff Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne and other senior officers of the Security Forces were also present at the meeting.

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Wild elephant flees from Kurunegala to Rambukkana

A wild elephant that had fled during a mission in Kappetigala, Kurunegala, has spotted in Halagiriya, Rambukkana.

Our correspondents said that a special operation by Wildlife Conservation Officers and Special Task Force is underway since this morning to chase the wild elephant away.

The Operation Director of the Wildlife Conservation Department, Manjula Amararathna urged the general public to refrain from visiting the area to witness the elephant.

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Person nabbed for possession of elephant tusks


An individual has been arrested for illegal possession of elephant tusks, in Daulagala, Pilimathalawa area.

The arrest was made at a raid based on a tip-off received by the Architectural Conservation Division in Kandy, stated the Police Media Spokesperson.

Subsequently, the police have been able to take four tusks into custody which were found on the suspect.

The suspect has been identified as a 35-year-old residing in Pilimathalawa area.

The suspect will be produced before the Magistrate’s Court in Kandy and the Architectural Conservation Division in Kandy is conducting further investigations regarding the incident.

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Fonseka raises concerns over use of elephants at pageants


Fonseka says new ways must be looked at on using elephants for temple pageants without hurting them.

“We see elephants moving from side to side at peraheras and are really happy to see that. We assume they are dancing as the dancers in the perahera are also dancing,” he said.

However Fonseka says after visiting the elephant orphanage and other locations where elephants are kept and after speaking to experts, he found that the elephants move from side to side at peraheras as they are in pain.

Fonseka said that while there is a need to protect Sri Lankan culture there is also a need to protect the animal.

The Minister said that the shortage of elephants for temple pageants must be addressed but it should not be done so to meet the personal agendas of some individuals. (Colombo Gazette)

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Wild jumbo enters human habitat for the first time Human -elephant conflict escalates;



Residents of the Rambukkana area were in for a shock when a wild elephant roamed into the human habitat for the first time last morning. The wild elephant was noticed first at the Kansalagamuwa area on the Rambukkana- Mawanella Road.

The jumbo that entered the Koslanda forest reserve across the railway line had moved through the paddy fields in Gondewala in Udugama into the Halagiriya forest reserve. However it was seen frequenting the Kansalagamuwa area again at noon.

On information from the Disaster Management Officer in the Rambukkana Division, a team of Wildlife conservation officers from the North Western Wildlife Zone who rushed to the scene said that the Halagiriya forest reserve and the surrounding area were within the purview of the Central Zone Wildlife office and that they could not take any step to drive the animal away. Thereafter the Rambukkana Police and the STF provided protection to the people.

The jumbo that entered the Koslanda forest reserve across the railway line had moved through the paddy fields in Gondewala in Udugama into the Halagiriya forest reserve

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Elephants cause further trouble to livelihood




COLOMBO (News 1st) – Wildlife officers said that the elephant who was roaming in the Kos Kale forest reserve in Rambukkana is now close to the Deduru Oya. The officers urged the general public to refrain from gathering in the area to spectate. According to the residents of the area, the elephant was roaming in […]



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Tuesday, July 31, 2018

31 injured as elephants go on a rampage in Kahawatte


 31 injured as elephants go on a rampage in Kahawatte

31 individuals admitted to hospital after they got injured as elephants went on a rampage at the Mihindu Perahera in Kahawatta.

The Police Media Spokesperson noted that 19 women and 12 men were injured in the incident.

An on-duty police officer at the Perehera was also injured and admitted to the Ratnapura hospital.

One of the elephants taking part in the Perehara had first gone berserk and few other elephants joined it creating a chaotic situation.


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Wild elephant who killed four persons captured in Puttalam

Wildlife Minister Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka yesterday (2) visited the site in Kaladiya, Puttalam where wildlife officers were keeping a captured wild elephant.

The elephant, who had allegedly killed four persons, including two women within the Puttalam wildlife zone, was tranqulized and captured by wildlife officers in the early hours of yesterday.

The captured elephant is due to be taken to a secure location.

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ROGUE ELEPHANT CAPTURED BY WILDLIFE OFFICERS



Arogue elephant that caused much havoc in Kaladiya area roaming into human habitats was captured by the Wildlife Conservation Officers and handed over to the Elephant Conservation Centre in Horowpathana.

The elephant that entered a home garden in Kottukachchiya area and trampled to death a 65-year-old woman who had come out of the house. Residents of the area were living in constant fear of the rogue elephant that frequented the villages after dusk destroying home garden crops.

Wildlife Veterinary Surgeon Dr. Chandana Jayasinghe said the 9ft. tall elephant was between 25 and 30 years old.

A team of wildlife conservation officers under Veterinary Surgeon of the Department Dr. H. A. Isuru Lokuhetti carried out the raid to capture the rogue elephant.

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Elephant attack in Mattala reserve claims life of one

COLOMBO (News 1st) – A wild elephant attack in the Mattala reserve claimed the life of one person. The deceased was a father of two named S.R. Chaminda who was a resident of lower Mattala.

The victim had left his house on the morning of 7th July, in search of two of his cattle who had gone missing. News 1st correspondent reports that as he did not return the area residents had launched a search for him and his body was later found in the Mattala reserve.

Meanwhile, locals in Daaranpalawa, Potuwil had informed the Lahugala Wildlife office of an elephant who had fallen into a well in the area. The elephant was later rescued by the wildlife officers and released to the Daaranpalawa reserve.

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Sinharaja elephants to be transferred to protection center

A project to establish a protection center to translocate the two rare elephants in the Sinharaja forest Reserve is in progress.

The Minister of Sustainable Development, Wildlife and Regional Development Field Marshall Sarath Fonseka has proposed the exaction of sixty-two hectares of land from the Parugala area in Dolekanda Grama Niladhari division of Kalawana, which consists of adaptable environmental conditions for the two elephants.

The proposal has also received the Cabinet approval.

The attention of the government has been drawn to the recent damages to lives and properties in vicinity of Sinharaja Forest Reserve, and the protection of the two wild elephants.

Meanwhile the proposal to establish a protection centre for the two rare elephants in the Sinharaja forest reserve has received massive backlash from environmentalists.

The environmental organizations oppose the confinement of the two elephants, roaming in the Sinharaja forest reserve that spreads over 11,189 hectares, to an area of 50 acres with an electric fence.

They point out that the authorities should heed to implement more practical solutions to the human-elephant conflict.

Last month, the President instructed the Secretary for the Ministry of Environment and the Director General of the Department of Wildlife Conservation to keep the two rare elephants in the Sinharaja Forest Reserve, a World Heritage site, until a decision is taken after formulating a proper procedure.

He instructed that further steps should be taken after consulting a group of experts in the regard and following a scientific study by those experts, if there is any need to relocate these elephants.

Authorities had planned to translocate the two elephants to the Horowpathana elephant protection centre, however environmental conservationists had vehemently opposed the  move.

The ‘Protect Sri Lanka’ national movement had claimed that UNESCO has notified Sri Lanka’s Department of Wildlife Conservation that the Sinharaja Forest Reserve will be at risk of losing its status as a World Heritage Site if the two wild elephants roaming the reserve are translocated.

It also charged that if the government follows through with that decision, the public will have to suffer the dangerous consequences.

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Madunagala elephant operation a success

COLOMBO (News 1st) – Wildlife officers managed to successfully complete an operation to drive out a group of wild elephants in the Madunagala area in Sooriyawewa, Hambantota.

Elephants regularly roam the Madunagala area due to the availability of food sources. In some instances, their actions have claimed the lives of area residents and caused damage to their properties.

Wildlife officers drove out 4 elephants into the reserve during the operation that was launched at 8 last night. The operation that had been launched by the wildlife officers lasted for a grueling 10 hours.

Earlier this week the Deputy Minister of Wildlife, Palitha Thewarapperuma also got involved in the operation.

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Police Constable dead trampled by elephant

A police constable has been killed due to unrest of three elephants at a procession held at Kahawatta, Ratnapura.

The constable has died last night (11) according to the Police Media Spokesperson.

On the 01st July, 30 people were injured at a Mihindu Perahera when 3 elephants participating in the procession caused unrest.

The deceased Constable had been receiving treatment at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of Ratnapura General Hospital as he had been severely trampled by an elephant at the said incident.

The deceased is a 51 year old constable attached to the Udawalawa Police Station and had been sent on duty to Embilipitiya Police Division that night

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Monday, July 30, 2018

2 dead in Ambanpola wild elephant attacks

COLOMBO (News 1st) – Two people have been killed in separate wild elephants attacks which occurred in the area falling under the purview of the Ambanpola Police Division.

Police said a 34-year-old man was killed in a wild elephant attack in Paththinigala Ambanpola last night (July 11). The victim was attacked when he came out of his house to answer a phone call.

A 62-year-old woman also died in Nelumpathwewa, Ambanpola after being attacked by a wild elephant. Police said she fell victim to the attack while she was on her way to the temple.

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Protest in Lunugamvehera against proposed elephant fence

Residents from four villages in Devramvehera and Lunugamwehera staged a protest this morning (Jul 13) saying that authorities are planning to erect an elephant fence across their farmlands.

The protesters blocked the Matara - Wellawaya road at the 70th Post in Devramvehera this morning.

Our correspondent stated that the protesters dispersed after Lunugamwehera Divisional Secretary promised to find a solution.

Meanwhile, the operation launched to drive away elephants from Suriyawewa was successful.

But Walawa Left Bank Joint Farmers' Union stated that there are defects in the electric fence, which was erected to prevent the return of elephant to human habitat.

The farmers' union, President S.K. Mahinda said that the wildlife officials are responsible for the defects.


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3 men arrested for attempting to sell Gaja Muthu

COLOMBO (News 1st) – Three residents of Beruwala were arrested while attempting to sell a bracelet which contained Gaja Muthu or elephant pearls.

The arrest had been made after luring the suspects into a sale using an undercover agent. The suspects had attempted to sell the bracelet for Rs.12 Million.

The suspects are due to be produced before the Kalutara Magistrates Court today (July 13).

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Wild life officers corner wild elephants

COLOMBO (News 1st) – Wildlife Officers have successfully cornered around 40 wild elephants in an operation launched in the Katuwewa area in Hambantota.

An operation to chase away the wild elephants terrorizing the Hambantota and Sooriyawewa areas over a period of time was launched on the 09th. Personnel from six Wildlife Offices including the Assistant Director of Wildlife for the Southern Province Prasanna Wimaladasa were involved in this operation.

Deputy Minister of Sustainable Development, Wildlife and Regional Development Palitha Thewarapperuma was also seen getting involved in the operation.

During the past three days, wildlife officers were successful in moving five wild elephants in the Madunagala area to the Wild Elephant Management Reserve in Hambantota. The operation to drive away the elephants in the Katuwewa area commenced last afternoon (July 13).

It was reported that the operation was supported by the local police and the area residents as well.  Wildlife Officers said these wild elephants will be driven to the Wild Elephant Management Reserve this evening (July 13).

Meanwhile, another herd of around 40 wild elephants roaming in search of water and food reached the Mahakanadarawa Reservoir in Mihintala last evening (July 12).


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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

People live in fear due to elephant threats in Mihintale



The villagers of the up-stream of Mahakanadarawa wewa in Mihintale live in fear and suffer due to elephant threats on these days.

The people who live in many villages such as Pothana, ihalagama, Netiyagama, neesiyagama, Weruppankulama, pudukkulama, Surukkulama, Nochchikulama, Maradankalla, Mudewa,welankulama and Karadikkulama are suffering and living in fear.

A lone elephant that roamed into a house in Surukkulama village last Friday (13) had destroyed the cultivated crops of the people and eaten several bags of ‘kurakkan’ and gone back to the forest after destroying the brick walls of the house. An adult couple had lived in this house when the elephant had come and attacked their abode.

When the elephant had attacked the house the woman had fled the house and escaped. The victim K. Wimalawathi (68) said the couple was engaged in agriculture and that her husband(71) had gone to a nearby village for work due to prevailing drought. According to her, the elephant had destroyed everything that they earned during their lifetime.

They said that Mihintale Pradeshiya Sabha had used the government forest reserve to dump garbage and the elephants are attracted to the household garbage. Therefore, the villagers request the Minister of Wildlife to take steps to drive away the elephants to a distant forest.


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Protest in Lunugamvehera against proposed elephant fence

Residents from four villages in Devramvehera and Lunugamwehera staged a protest this morning (Jul 13) saying that authorities are planning to erect an elephant fence across their farmlands.

The protesters blocked the Matara - Wellawaya road at the 70th Post in Devramvehera this morning.

Our correspondent stated that the protesters dispersed after Lunugamwehera Divisional Secretary promised to find a solution.

Meanwhile, the operation launched to drive away elephants from Suriyawewa was successful.

But Walawa Left Bank Joint Farmers' Union stated that there are defects in the electric fence, which was erected to prevent the return of elephant to human habitat.

The farmers' union, President S.K. Mahinda said that the wildlife officials are responsible for the defects.


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* President directs to expedite erecting 2500 kilometers of electric fence to minimize human-elephant conflict



June 30, Colombo: Sri Lanka President Maithripala Sirisena has instructed relevant authorities to expedite the construction of of new fences island wide through a systematic program to keep the elephants away from the villages.

The President has given the order during a discussion at the Presidential secretariat yesterday (29) on maintaining the existing elephant fences.

Pointing out the need to maintain the elephant fences properly in preventing the human-elephant conflict, the President instructed the officials to renovate the inactive electric fences and fix the shortcomings.

It has been pointed out at the discussion that 1860 Civil Defense Force have been deployed for maintaining the electric fences but that force is not enough to maintain the 4000 kilometers of fences island wide.

Accordingly, the President instructed the relevant authorities to take steps to fill the vacancies soon.

The President also gave instructions to continue giving the daily allowance for food expenses to the members of the Civil Defense Force, and pointed out the need to initiate training programs for them.

Minister of Sustainable Development, Wildlife and Regional Development Sarath Fonseka, Ministry Secretary APG Kithsiri, Secretary to the Ministry of Defense, Kapila Waidyaratne, Chief of Defense Staff Admiral Ravindra Wijegunaratne and other senior officers of the Security Forces were also present at the meeting.


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Two rare elephants in Sinharaja to be shifted to new detention centre



Two rare elephants in the Sinharaja forest reserve are to be shifted to a new detention centre.

Cabinet has approved the establishment of an elephant detention centre for the two elephants.

The cabinet approved the Proposal presented by Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka, Minister of Sustainable Development, Wild Life and Regional Development to take over 36 hectares of land in the Parugala area (in Dolekanda Grama Niladhari Division) for this purpose.

Fonseka had earlier threatened to resign from his Ministerial portfolio over the Sinharaja elephant issue.

Fonseka had said that his duty is to resolve the human-elephant conflict resulting from the elephants in Sinharaja.

The Minister had said that if anyone attempts to pull his leg when he looks to resolve the issue he will resign.

Earlier, a decision taken to shift the two rare elephants from the Sinharaja forest reserve had been suspended on the instructions of the President. President Maithripala Sirisena had instructed the Secretary to the Ministry of Environment and the Director General of the Department of Wildlife Conservation to keep the two rare elephants in the Sinharaja forest reserve, a World Heritage site, until a decision was taken after formulating a proper procedure.


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* Wildlife Minister expects to end Sri Lanka's human-elephant conflict in a year and a half



July 09, Colombo: Minister of Sustainable Development, Wildlife and Regional Development Field marshal Sarath Fonseka says that he expects to eliminate the threat of wild elephants across the country by 95 percent within the next 18 months.

He made this observation yesterday speaking at a meeting held at the Naula Divisional Secretariat.

The Minister recently visited the Matale district and remained there for two days to inquire into the destruction to the people's lives and properties by the wild elephants that had come to the villages due to the acquisition of land to construct the Moragahakanda Reservoir and deforestation.

During the visit Minister Fonseka held a meeting at the Naula divisional secretariat with the state officials, wildlife officers and the representatives of the villagers.

Many representatives of the villagers expressed their views on the human-elephant conflict at the meeting.

The Minister noted that last year 280 elephants and 80 persons have died due to the human-elephant conflict and the population of elephants in the country has exceeded 6,000.

Minister Fonseka said that the only solution for the human-elephant conflict is to install highest quality electric fences and that 4500 kilometers of electric fences have already been installed.

He said the Ministry has received funding to erect another 2500 kilometers of electric fences and to hire 5000 people to maintain those fences.

The Minister said the Wildlife Department has around 50 billion rupees and he expects to utilize the money to end the human-elephant conflict within the next year and half.

He said President's approval has been received to provide an appropriate uniform to the wildlife officers and also to provide a firearm similar to a T56 imported from China instead of the firearm they are using now. He said the firearm is for the officer's protection and no for shooting the elephants.


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Friday, July 06, 2018

Wild elephant electrocuted in Wellawaya (Photos)

A wild elephant was electrocuted inside a private land in Neluwagala, Wellawaya, last night (Jun 13).

Our correspondent said that the elephant had got contacted with a live power line that connected to a water pump.

Investigations are underway to ascertain whether that the power line was laid purposely to harm the animals.

A wildlife official said that the wild elephant was aged around 25 to 30 years.

Our correspondent said that human-elephant conflict has affected the Wellawaya area and many cultivated lands have been destroyed by encroaching wild elephants.


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President instructs to keep two rare elephants in Sinharaja Forest Reserve at the same place until a decision is taken after formulating a proper procedure



President Maithripala Sirisena has instructed the Secretary for the Ministry of Environment and the Director General of the Department of Wildlife Conservation to keep the two rare elephants in the Sinharaja Forest Reserve, a World Heritage site until a decision is taken after formulating a proper procedure.

The President further instructed the Secretary for the Ministry of Environment Mr. Anura Dissanayake and the Director General of the Department of Wildlife Conservation Mr. Anura Saturusinghe if there is any need to relocate these elephants, further steps should be taken after consulting a group of experts in the regard and following a scientific study by those experts.

President Sirisena has given these instructions during a meeting held with the officials of the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment, yesterday (14).

President Maithripala Sirisena further instructed the officials to take steps to conserve the animals within the lands that belong to them in order to protect the wild elephants.

The President also showed the importance of the responsibility behind protecting the Sinharaja forest which has a bio diversity valued by the entire world.

In order to prevent the harm caused by these two elephants to the people residing in the area, President Sirisena advised to complete the construction of a protective elephant fence as early as possible.

Mr.Ajith Mannapperuma who was newly appointed as the Deputy Minister of Environment started his duties in his position and President Maithripala Sirisena also joined this event.

Then the President also held this discussion with the officials of the ministries.
Deputy Minister Ajith P.Perera and other officials were also present in this discussion.


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Wild elephant attack in Girandurukotte claims the life of wild life officer



COLOMBO (News 1st) – A wildlife officer was attacked and killed by a wild elephant in the Viranagama area in Giradurukotte.

Police said the incident occurred during an operation to drive away a heard of wild elephants from the area last evening.

The victim was 53-year-old M.A. Wasantha, a resident of the Palathuruwella area in Padiyatalawa and was serving as a Guard for the Department of Wildlife.

The victim’s remains have been placed at the Girandurukotte Regional hospital.


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Wild elephant attacks in Nawula and Horowpathana



COLOMBO (News 1st) – Two people has been killed in a wild elephant attack in the Lihinipitiya area in Nawula. Police said that the incident occurred while the two victims, aged 29 and 30, were returning home from a relative’s house.

Meanwhile a Buddhist monk was attacked by a wild elephant in the Wewalkatiya area on the Medawachchiya – Horowpathana road early last morning.Our correspondent said the Thero who was initially admitted to the Rathmalgahawewa Hospital was attacked by an elephant from the Olandawa Reserve in Horowpathana.

The Thero was thereafter transferred to the Anuradhapura Teaching Hospital for further treatment.


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Two rare elephants confined to Sinharaja


Sinharaja: Last vestige of primary tropical rain forest
Extinction due to changes in feeding patterns
Lack of historical data a major drawback
20 out of 26 endemic birds in Sinharaja
A recent attempt to relocate two rare elephants from the Sinharaja Forest Reserve created a controversy within environmentalists as the UNESCO would de-list the area as a world heritage site. This led to the intervention of the President who issued a directive that the move to relocate the elephants should be suspended until a proper scientific study was done on whether this transmigration would lead to the extinction of this rare species.


The UNESCO in 1978 designated the Sinharaja Forest Reserve as a biosphere reserve and a world heritage site.

SINHARAJA FOREST RESERVE
Sinharaja is a national park and a biodiversity hotspot in Sri Lanka and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has identified it as the last vestige of primary tropical rain forest with more than 60 per cent of the trees are endemic or rare.


This hilly virgin rain forest is only 21kms (13mi) from East to West and a maximum of 7kms (13mi) from North to South, but it is a unique area of endemic species including trees, insects, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. Wildlife is not seen easily because of the dense vegetation as in the dry-zone national parks like Yala. According to Wikipedia, there were three elephants and 15 leopards, and the common mammal is the endemic purple-faced Langur. One elephant cannot be accounted for at present.
There are 26 endemic birds in Sri Lanka, of which 20 rain forest species occur in Sinharaja. Reptiles include endemic green pit viper, hump-nosed vipers and also rare variety of amphibians, especially tree frogs. There are also invertebrates like common bird wing, butterfly and leeches.




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Two Sinharaja elephants will suffer same fate as the leopard: Thewarapperuma



The two elephants in the Sinharaja forest will suffer the same fate as the leopard which was killed recently if they remain in the Sinharaja forest, Wildlife Deputy Minister Palitha Thewarapperuma said yesterday.

Wildlife Minister Field Marshal Sarath Fonseka and Deputy Minister Thewarapperuma initially attempted to take the two animals out of the forest reserve but President Maithripala Sirisena stopped them from doing it, he said.

Deputy Minister Thewarapperuma said this during an adjournment debate moved by Joint Opposition MP Wimalaweera Dissanayake who urged the government to resolve human- animal conflicts.

“The villagers are planning to kill the two elephants and therefore they will suffer the same fate as the leopard which was killed recently. This is why Minister Fonseka and I decided to take them to an elephant transit home. We were going to keep the two animals in the transit home temporarily,” the Deputy Minister said.

“We went into action even without veterinary specialists and had to get the two from Sri Lanka Air force. President Maithripala Sirisena who called us as soon as we started the operation to transfer the elephants advising us to do it carefully. However seconds later the Air Force Commander informed us that the President had ordered the two air force specialists to leave the place. The President also called us soon after and advised us to tie the two elephants and keep them,” he said.

Mr. Thewarapperuma said the two animals will be kept in a hundred acre land within the Sinharaja. “Both Minister Fonseka and I will personally attend to the needs of these animals,” he added.

He revealed that villagers in Kalawana tortured the mother of the two male elephants which he and his minister tried to move.

The Deputy Minister stressed on a joint effort to resolve the human animal conflicts. He said politics has prevented resolving this conflict. “The human animal conflict had become a national issue because of politics,” he said. (Yohan Perera and Ajith Siriwardana)


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Wild elephant attack kills two in Panama


Two persons have died due to being attacked by a wild elephant in Panama, Amparai.

Police said that the victims were fishermen and they were on their way toward Panama tank when the tragedy struck.

They succumbed to their injuries after being admitted to Akkaraipattu Hospital.

The victims, aged 56 and 61, were residents of the area.


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Adorable baby elephant rescued from well in Sri Lanka



An adorable baby elephant that had fallen into an agricultural well in Horowpathana, Sri Lanka, was rescued by local residents and wildlife officials and was later taken to a nearby veterinary center. It took four hours for the officials and locals to rescue the elephant, which was about a year old.


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Wild elephant attack claims another life



A 55-year-old woman had been killed early this morning in the Galgamuwa-Reswehera area due to an elephant attack.

She had faced this tragedy while returning from a relative’s home in the Galgamuwa-Pothanegama area this morning.

During the past few days, over ten people had been killed due to wild elephant attacks.

Recently, two youths were killed due to a wild elephant attack in the Matale-Lihiniyapitiya area, while in another incident in the Girandurukotte-Viranagama area a wildlife officer lost his life during an operation to chase off a herd of wild elephants.

In another incident that took place the day before yesterday, two persons had been killed by wild elephants in the Ampara-Panama area.

The Deputy Wildlife Minister Palitha Thewarapperuma who visited the relatives of the two youths killed in the wild elephant attack the day before yesterday in Matale-Lihiniyapitiya, promised to set up a wildlife office in the area which constantly comes under wild elephant attack.

Meanwhile, another monk had sustained injuries in a wild elephant attack and the villagers of the Anuradhapura-Medawachchiya, Wewalketiya village had staged a protest drawing attention to the constant wild elephant threat faced by these villagers.


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 https://srilankamirror.com/news/9216-wild-elephant-attack-claims-another-life

Woman killed in wild elephant attack in Amparai



Wildlife officials have widened the search operations to locate Deegadanthu, the wild elephant with the longest tusks in the Kalawewa National Park.

Wildlife officials said that they did not see the tusker that suffered a serious trap-gun injury in one of its legs.

Deegadanthu was reported missing from last Monday (Jun 18).

The veterinarian in charge of North Western and Anuradhapura, Chandana Jayasinghe said that a search operation is currently underway in Kahalla, Pallekelle forest reserve.

Meanwhile, a 55-year old woman was killed in a wild elephant attack at Raswehera in Galgamuwa early this morning (Jun 25).

It was revealed that nearly 10 persons were killed in wild elephant attacks during over the last several days.


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Wild elephant attack kills woman in Meegalewa



A woman was killed in a wild elephant attack in Pothanegama in Meegalewa yesterday (Jun 25).

She was a 61-year-old.

Police said that the victim was walking towards her sister’s house when she was attacked by the elephant.

During the recent few weeks, more than 10 people had killed in wild elephant attacks.


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Rare ivory and pearl exhibition with a message



To mark International Museum Day on May 18 (declared by the International Community of Museums -ICOM), the Colombo National Museum has on display a temporary exhibition of ivory, pearls and exotic sea shells.

This exhibition which is on until June 18 highlights the dexterity of the Lankan craftsmen of yesteryear – seen in intricately crafted jewellery boxes, figurines, replicas of stupas and handloom shuttles on display.

“Although ivory was a rich form of art in ancient Sri Lanka, it should be remembered that ivory was sourced for the art from dead tuskers. The traditional Lankan artisan did not warrant the poaching of wild elephants for this purpose, although the practice was introduced by the colonial rulers and tragically continued to date,” says the Assistant Director of Zoology, Department of National Museum, Lankani Somarathna.

The exhibition also draws increased public attention to the problem of elephants being killed for their tusks. “Tuskers are killed in large numbers today in search of elephant pearls and their tusks but little do these poachers know that only a handful of them actually have this and many die in vain,” says Ms. Somarathna.

The exhibition features a collection of selected exhibits which are not among Colombo Museum’s permanent exhibition collection, including a delicately designed statue of God Vishnu and Goddess Lakshmi, replicas of stupas dating back to the 17th century and an elaborately designed handloom shuttle. There is also a rare collection of sea shells, including a collection donated by the celebrated diver, late Rodney Jonklaas. All these are from the Zoology Division of the Museum. Apart from the permanent exhibits which the public gets to see, the Museum is also a repository to an extensive collection, some of which is showcased from time to time through temporary exhibitions.


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The Baby elephant who felt like walking in hell saved by kindness


Our kind and loving team of Wildlife officers brought in a rescued baby elephant for urgent treatments. The baby elephant is in dire pain with a lot of wounds all over its legs. One can only imagine how this baby elephant manages to stand up with such critical condition wounds on the feet. The doctor is here to guide the team towards necessary procedures. They wanted to let the baby elephant layover to the side so they can treat its feet.

They gently pushed the elephant to the side and calmly laid it over a carpet and quickly began giving treatments. The baby elephant is in pain as you can see the baby shivering. The doctor quickly injected the calf with anesthesia to subdue any pain. Others had to proceed towards cleaning the feet and the wounds before applying with medicine.

We hope to see this baby elephant recovering soon. We hope to share the latest news about this situation.

Many injured and lost baby elephants are taken care of by the wildlife officers here at the camp before they are old enough to face to jungle alone with all the dangers lurking around every corner. These baby elephants aren’t in captivity. They will be transported to large areas and national parks on the island such as Yala national park or the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage.

We hope for the best for this innocent animal that got caught in this unfortunate situation. We hope to update you regarding the elephant very soon.


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Sunday, June 10, 2018

Sri Lanka elephants face plastic danger foraging dumps for food



At a garbage dump in central Sri Lanka a herd of wild elephants forage among a mountain of rubbish, swallowing dangerous scraps of plastic mixed with rotting food in what experts warn is an increasing problem for the revered animals. Due to illegal dumping near wildlife sanctuaries, hundreds of Sri Lanka's estimated 7,500 wild elephants now scavenge at rubbish tips and many are being madesick by what they eat, Jayantha Jayewardene, an expert on Asian elephants, said.

"Sri Lanka considers elephants to be a national treasure, but we see these animals reduced to eating rubbish," Jayewardene told AFP Thursday.

"They have become docile and got so used to tractors bringing them garbage."

A herd of 20 wild elephants at Habarana in the east of Sri Lanka has become totally dependent on rubbish and behaved almost like domestic animals waiting for tractors to tip the garbage.


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

Thai villager killed by wild elephants



Wild elephants have killed a man in western Thailand as he and other villagers tried to keep the animals away from their crops.


A 54-year-old Thai man has been killed by a herd of wild elephants in the western province of Kanchanburi, in the second dangerous encounter between humans and elephants this month, local media reports say.

The attack involved 10 female elephants and their calves, and occurred late on Sunday as the man and others in his village were trying to keep the animals away from their crops, the Bangkok Post said.

The victim, Thamsin Ratananupappot, was reportedly part of a group of villagers that had been using slingshots to keep the 30-strong herd of elephants out of their village.

The villagers had been patrolling the land, trying to keep elephants from entering, every night for the past month, the Post said.

On May 16, a wild elephant attacked a 73-year-old man in Kanchanaburi province, breaking his ribs and back, but the man survived.


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Two Sri Lankan elephants to grace Safari Park


June 01 (Express Tribune) Lahore's Safari Park will have two elephants which are likely to arrive from Sri Lanka next month. The Sri Lankan ambassador, in an official letter, has also recommended that the elephants be gifted to Pakistan.

We have been trying to import elephants from Sri Lanka for a very long time. Finally, our relentless efforts have been successful; this will also strengthen relations between the two countries, expressed announced Punjab Wildlife and Parks Director General Khalid Ayaz.

The Sri Lankan government will soon make this long awaited dream a reality. The elephants that were purchased for Lahore Zoo are expected to arrive by the end of June, but the Sri Lankan elephants will be featured as a main attraction at Lahore Safari Park, he maintained.

Previously, around two years ago, the Sri Lankan government had proposed presenting elephants as a gift to Pakistan. However, the matter was left suspended after the elephant at Lahore Zoo died.

Earlier, the Punjab Wildlife Department was unable to secure a permit from CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) which caused a delay in importing animals for Lahore Zoo.

The department had allocated Rs13 million for importing several animals, including an elephant, a giraffe, sea horses, a Bengal tiger and a rhinoceros, to restore the zoo to its former glory. Two separate firms were tasked with the responsibility but neither were able to obtain the permit.


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Two arrested in Matara with Elephant Pearls



Law Enforcement Unit of the Matara Police has arrested 2 persons, at Kekanadura in Matara, for the possession of Elephant Pearls aka ‘Gajamuthu’.

The police had seized 2 Elephant Pearls which were with the suspects.

The 34 year old and 39 year old suspects from Kekanadura area will be produced before the Matara Magistrate’s Court today (06), according to the Police.


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Friday, June 08, 2018

Cow elephant and calf rescued in Suriyawewa



One cow elephant and a calf had been rescued from a cultivation-well in the Weliara area in Suriyawewa, Wild Life Conservation Department Officers of Hambantota said.

The cow elephant and its calf had come in search of food and had fallen into a cultivation well, J.A.P. Wijaya Kumara of Wild Life Office in Hambantota said.

“Due to unprotected cultivation wells excavated by farmers, the lives of elephants, which are coming in search of food in shrubs near villages are in danger as they face severe food crisis due to the loss of their shelters, he said.


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Electric fence not an obstruction to the Elephants



Farmers say that the electrical fence which has been built for the protection of the farming community and farming villages of Matale District have been broken by elephants.

Farmers said that this situation has arisen due to the electrical fence built by the government to manage the elephants coming to villages in search of food from Vasgamuwa and Minneriya National parks. Due to construction of the Moragahakanda reservoir, traditional elephant paths have changed. An electrical fence has been built by spending millions of rupees to control the elephants living in the park and preventing them going out of the Vasgamuwa National Park as six villages went under water in the Naula Divisional Secretary’s Division.

The batteries used for the electrical fence have been robbed several times. Due to this situation, disconnecting of the electrical fence, the elephants are coming to villages, the farmers said. In the meantime, Wildlife Officer Ranjith K. Vijitha in Elahera said, the people who travel in this area should pay special attention as the herd of elephants of more than 100 are roaming the Moragahakanda area.

Ambana Farmers Association said recently that their cultivations have been destroyed due to the wild elephants coming to their villages. When we inquired from the wildlife office, Mr. Ranjith said that they are continuing their operation to chase away the elephants.

In addition to this, he said that they are distributing elephant crackers among the villagers and launching awareness programes for the villagers.


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Captain arrested over electrocution of tusker (Pics)



The carcass of a tusker which had died due to being electrocuted by an electrified fence of a farm in Puthukudiiruppu, Mulaithivu run by the military, was found yesterday, according to the Puthukudiiruppu Police.

The police said that the carcass of the animal was found with the assistance of the Wildlife officers.

According to police, initial investigations had revealed that the fence surrounding the army run farm had been electrified to prevent wild animals entering it.

Hence, on the charge of erecting an unprotected power line to the farm fence a Captain attached to the 683 brigade was arrested.

Police said that the arrested Captain was scheduled to be produced before the Mulaithivu Magistrate’s Court.

According to the Wildlife Department Northern Region Veterinarian B. Giridharan, the tusker that had been killed due to electrification is believed to be around 30 years.

Last year, around 18 such wild elephants and tuskers were killed in the Northern province, he said, adding that due to human activity the wild elephant population in the Northern province is fast declining.


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Sunday, May 20, 2018

The sad fate of our majestic elephants



Changes in land-usage patterns have resulted in a continuous contraction of the habitat available to the elephant. Today there is little room for the animals to roam.

Today, the rising elephant population and the continuously shrinking of land availability, has led to food scarcity among the growing numbers of beasts. The food scarcity has led herds roaming in villages and destroying crops.

At locations where vegetable refuse is dumped, the hungry beasts often rush to tractors bringing in loads of vegetable garbage

This has forced the workers to barricade the area before dumping the vegetable waste and remove the barriers once the tractors leave the location.

Elsewhere villagers pointed to jak trees and other crops damaged by elephants in their search for food.

The growing elephant population is leading to a rising number of clashes between man and beast.

It is time the authorities acted to bring the situation under control.


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Sri Lanka elephants face plastic danger foraging dumps for food


Hundreds of Sri Lanka’s wild elephants now scavage at rubbish dumps, risking their health due to plastic scraps mixed with rotting food

At a garbage dump in central Sri Lanka a herd of wild elephants forage among a mountain of rubbish, swallowing dangerous scraps of plastic mixed with rotting food in what experts warn is an increasing problem for the revered animals.

Due to illegal dumping near wildlife sanctuaries, hundreds of Sri Lanka’s estimated 7,500 wild elephants now scavenge at rubbish tips and many are being made sick by what they eat, Jayantha Jayewardene, an expert on Asian elephants, said.

“Sri Lanka considers elephants to be a national treasure, but we see these animals reduced to eating rubbish,” Jayewardene told AFP Thursday.

“They have become docile and got so used to tractors bringing them garbage.”

Some wild elephants have become accustomed to scavanging in rubbish dumps instead of foraging in the jungle

A herd of 20 wild elephants at Habarana in the east of Sri Lanka has become totally dependent on rubbish and behaved almost like domestic animals waiting for tractors to tip the garbage.

“These elephants no longer forage in the jungle. They are like zoo animals. It is a sad sight to see national treasures picking through rotting rubbish,” he said.

The animals can be seen covered in smelly garbage and rooting among piles of plastic bottles, a far cry from the majestic jumbos portrayed in travel brochures.

Jayewardene said the solid waste included plastic scraps despite a government ban on non-biodegradable polythene. Hundreds of elephants elsewhere are also known to forage at dozens of rubbish tips near elephant habitats.





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Thursday, May 10, 2018

Operation launched to catch rogue elephant inside Ridiyagama Safari Park



Wildlife officers have launched a special operation to capture a wild elephant that gained entry into the Ridiyagama Safari Park in Amabalantota. The elephant had entered the park after breaking through one of its gates this morning (24).

Officers from the Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC) said that the elephant was attacking other elephants inside the park and had also attempted to enter areas of the park inhabited by other animals.

Area residents said that the lone elephant had been roaming the area even prior to the construction of the safari park.

Following a call for assistance, officers from Udawalawa, Mauara and the Hambantota Wildlife office, as well as veterinarians from the Udawalawa Elephant Transit Home, have joined the operation to capture the elephant.

Journalists who attrmpted to cover the operation to capture the elephant were prevented from entering the park by wildlife officers, citing concerns over their safety.

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* 82 wild elephants killed in Sri Lanka from Jan to March this year


Apr 25 (Bernama) A total of 82 wild elephants have been killed in the human-elephant conflict in Sri Lanka during the first quarter of this year, according to an official here, reported Xinhua news agency.


Director General of the Sri Lankan Wildlife Conservation Department, M.G.C. Sooriyabandara told Xinhua that the elephants had been killed by gunshot injuries in most cases.

He said the most number of elephant deaths were reported from the eastern part of the country. Sri Lanka boasts of 6,000 wild elephants according to the census conducted in 2012.

The Director General said his office would conduct another survey this year. Last year, as many as 256 elephants were killed in the wild.


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Elephant pearl traders nabbed with decoy



Two businessmen and a relative of one of them, who attempted to sell two elephant pearls (Gaja Muthu) for Rs.7 million had been arrested using a decoy, the Dambulla Police said.

Officers of the Special Investigation Unit of the Dambulla Police that conducted investigations for several days on a tip off contacted the businessmen concerned and agreed to buy the two pearls.

As appointed, the parties met near the Rangiri Dambulla Rajamaha Vihara and during the transaction with the decoys, the Police arrested the three men and seized the two elephant pearls.

According to Police that the suspects had killed a tusker in the Yala National Park for elephant pearls and that they were in possession of the two tusks as well.

The Police said the suspects were being questioned to recover the two tusks.

OIC Crimes Investigation Unit IP Gayan Samarakoon, and SI J.M. Wijeratne are conducting further investigations.

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 https://www.pressreader.com/sri-lanka/daily-mirror-sri-lanka/20180426/281556586435026

Herd of Sri Lankan wild elephants filmed foraging landfill in search of rotten food



The video filmed in a drone digital camera by Wasantha Chandrapala, a contract reporter in Amapara in jap province of the island nation, highlights the pitiable situation of the animals which might be compelled to raid landfills every day to fill their hungry abdomen.

The distressing video shot on early Tuesday morning, begins with fifteen elephants together with three younger ones speeding in direction of a landfill plagued by hundreds of plastic waste exterior a resident space in Deegawapiya.

They run hurriedly after getting maintain of no matter waste they may of their trunk in concern of offended people coming in.

Explaining the horrible second, Wasantha, 45, mentioned: “It is a day by day routine on this space. The dwellers from Akkaraipattu, Sammanthurai dump their garbage within the hill prime at evening and elephants from close by jungle Kalmunai Dhigavapi come each morning to scavenge meals.

“It’s really heartbreaking to see the animals consuming plastic and poisonous chemical waste. This causes critical well being points within the animals who additionally fall sick. Some have even died.”

Thus far six elephants have died resulting from intaking toxics in Ampara. Whereas the elephants have by no means attacked any villager, their common go to by way of fields are damaging the crop. The problem has definitely change into a matter of concern for the dwellers who’ve been asking the wildlife officers why the correct measures are usually not been taken and why the fencing of the dump remains to be pending.

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On Safari in Sri Lanka, See Hundreds of Elephants



A female elephant shepherds her calf between her legs. It scurries beneath her belly, following her trunk and disappearing from my sight as they pass through the tall grass. For a moment, I have to remind myself I’m in Sri Lanka, not somewhere in Africa. Despite the Sri Lankan elephant being noticeably smaller and darker than the African elephant, the setting feels similar: thick brush, muddy earth, a large pool of water where the animals drink. Even the safari vehicle is the same. But here, at the the Udawalawe National Park in southern Sri Lanka, a four-hour drive from the capital city of Colombo, the elephants are the main attraction—not the supporting actors to big cats.

If you’re lucky, you might spot a cat. There’s a small population of leopards inside the park, but they camouflage well, making them almost impossible to see. Elephants, on the other hand, are absolutely everywhere—crossing the grassy, tree-filled park at every turn. There are more than 500 of them (they roam in herds of up to 30), which makes Udawalawe one of the only parks in the country where you’re guaranteed to get a good look.

“Sri Lanka is one of the few places where Asian elephants can be watched for long periods, just behaving like elephants—not running from cars, not raiding crops, just being elephants,” says John Roberts, director of conservation for Minor Hotel Group. On a good afternoon, you’ll catch sight of them around the watering hole alongside water buffalo and dozens of species of birds (there are more than 180 kinds in the park). “Keep your eyes peeled and you may also see sambar deer, water buffalo, jackals, and monkeys, including the gray langur and the endemic toque macaque,” says Sashan Wirasinghe, manager of Abercrombie and Kent Sri Lanka, which organizes tailor-made trips in Sri Lanka and into the park.

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Elephant found dead in Anuradhapura



Colombo (News1st) – An elephant was found dead in the Ambagaswewa tank in Palagala,Anuradhapura.

According to villagers, the elephant had died this morning (May 2nd).Several bullets were found in the remains of the elephant.

The injuries in its mouth area indicate that the elephant had bitten into hakka patas ( An explosives used to scare away elephants). Wild Life officers attempted to save the pachyderm’s life through medication but were unsuccessful

The villagers said that the elephant was roaming near the Ambagaswewa area the day before.

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69 kilos of Kerala cannabis detected in Vavuniya

69.7 kilos of Kerala cannabis was detected from a house in Pandrikkethakulam in Omanthai during a raid carried out by the Vavuniya Anti-narcotic Unit last morning (May 06).



The raid was carried out at around 9 am and police found 33 parcels of narcotic.


The suspects, aged 23, 24 and 28 are residents of Vavuniya, Jaffna and Mullaithivu.


They will be produced before Vavuniya Magistrate Court today.

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Plastic planet: Six elephants die after eating plastic dumped at Sri Lanka landfill...



Plastic planet: Six elephants die after eating plastic dumped at Sri Lanka landfill

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Hoof and mouth disease outbreak among elephants in national parks



An outbreak of hoof and mouth disease has been reported among elephants and tuskers in several national parks, including Kavudulla, Minneriya, Somawathiya, Giritale and Angammedilla. Veterinary surgeon K.A.S.S. Kalinguarachchi of the Giritale wildlife health management unit says he received a sick baby elephant from Kavudulla national park a week ago.

Samples from the one-and-a-half-month old has been sent to the veterinary unit of Peradeniya for tests, he says.

According to him, the elephants have caught the disease from the tens of thousands cattle sent illegally to national parks for grazing.

Caretakers too, confirm this.

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Elephant race in Homagama



Mahouts are seen riding elephants passing the spectators during traditional games held to mark the Sinhala and Tamil New Year in Homagama yesterday.

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https://www.lankanewspapers.com/2018/04/23/elephant-race-homagama/

Mother kills infant before ending her life

A 32-years-old mother in Habarakada in Hiniduma has killed her 10-month-old infant and committed suicide by hanging.
Police said she was mentally unstable.

The incident had occurred at around 10 am today (Apr. 23).


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Monday, April 23, 2018

Tusker ‘Missaka’ dies from sepsis



The Tusker ‘Missaka,’ that frequented the Yala Sanctuary, died yesterday morning after suffering from a trap gun injury that persisted for over two weeks, park authorities said.

Yala National Park Warden D. P. Siyasinghe speaking to Daily Mirror said the tusker died due to a wound in his left front leg which had gotten worse and injuries sustained by it close to his left eye.

“The tusker was found walking around with severe injuries near the Bandu Wewa in close proximity to the Ondaatje Bungalow in Kataragama last Sunday (15),” he said.

The 35-years-old tusker’s wound had worsened since it was spotted last and the wound had deepened to measure about a foot long and a foot wide, he said.“There were two more wounds suffered by it near the left eye which was suspected to have been caused by gunshots,” he said.

Three veterinarians, who treated the elephant for three days continuously, observed that the tusker seemed to have sustained these injuries two to three weeks ago.

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

Wild elephant antics and broken tusks



Male elephants are solitary by nature, having been driven away from the rest of the herd when they reach puberty. This is called ‘natal dispersal’ and is a mechanism that has evolved over the millennia to avoid (a) inbreeding with relatives and (b) competition with kin. After that they lead a nomadic life, sometimes associating with other senior bull elephants ‘to learn the ropes’ of survival and eventually being ready to claim their own female for reproduction.

One reaching full maturity bull elephants, especially the Asian species, come into state called “musth”, in which their urge to mate goes into overdrive and they become very aggressive.

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

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Baby elephant rescued from a well by villagers in Sri Lankan



A baby elephant in distressed cried for help and was recused from a well by Sri Lankan villagers.

The four-month-old calf cries for help were noticed by locals who found the baby in a six-feet deep well in Ampara in the Eastern Province of Sri Lanka.

A rescue team was called after villagers raised the alarm and officials from the forest and wildlife department rushed to help the calf out of the well.

In the footage, the officials can be seen digging the land around the well using a Backhoe machine and removing the upper cemented block of the well to get the elephant out from it.

Samara Simha, a local villager said: 'Elephants venture into the area to drink water from the wells.

'The calf, part of a large herd, might have fallen into the well as the water level was beyond its reach.'

After 5 long hours of struggle, the forest and wildlife officials finally pulled the animal out from the well.

Footage shows rescuers then applying ointment on the calf's injuries before it ran to its mother, who was standing nearby.

Both the mother elephant and the calf later ran towards the nearby forest.

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https://www.edozierichardsblog.com/2018/04/baby-elephant-rescued-from-well-by.html

Wildlife officer critically injured in elephant attack

Wildlife officer critically injured in elephant attack....

Three persons including a Wildlife official were hospitalized after they were attacked by a wild elephant in Nintavur Allimul area at Samanthurai in Amparai.

Police said that they had attempted to chase away a herd of wild elephants that had entered the village.

Then the wild elephants had attacked the injured persons, who were admitted to Amparai General Hospital.

However, as the condition of the wildlife official was serious, he was transferred to Kandy General Hospital.

Later, steps were taken to provide shelter to the villagers at a safe location.

Police said the wild elephants have been chased away to the jungle.

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http://www.vivalanka.com/newspage/5895043ai-wildlife-officer-critically-injured-elephant-attack

Wild elephant herd chased away in Samanthurai (Photos)

A group of persons including wildlife officials came under attack in Samanthurai when they attempted to chase away a herd of elephants that encroached a village.

The herd included 6 wild elephants.

However, the wild elephants had come after the officials and 4 persons including a wildlife official were injured in the melee.

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http://www.hirunews.lk/188520/wild-elephant-herd-chased-away-in-samanthurai-photos

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Villagers unable to protect harvest from wild elephants



Residents of Kalagama, Galkiriyagama in the Anuradhapura District are facing severe hardships due to the inability of protecting their harvest from wild elephants.

Several wild elephants invading the village feed on the harvest stored in the houses of the residents. Residents are attacked when trying to drive away the elephants, according to villagers.

A resident was reportedly attacked last night while trying to drive away an elephant that was trying to feed on the paddy harvest stored at the house.

The 68-year-old victim is currently being treated at the Galkiriyagama Divisional Hospital.

The elephants that enter the village to feed on the harvest and completely destroy the village’s cultivations, say farmers.

Elephants entering the village are from the Kahalla Pallekele Sanctuary under Galkiriyagama wildlife division and the Kala Wewa Sanctuary that has been declared a tourist zone, as further pointed out by the villagers.

To read the full article, click on the story title

Sunday, April 08, 2018

Elephant calf rescued from waterhole (Pics)



The Karuwalagaswewa wildlife officials had taken measures to rescue an elephant calf that had fallen into a waterhole and take him to the Pandulagama, Anuradhapura regional wildlife office for treatment.

The elephant calf was rescued on April 03.

The Karuwalagaswewa regional secretary Janaka Balasooriya had been notified that an elephant calf had fallen into a water filled hole in a quarry in the middle of a jungle area in Kuda Medawachchiya in Karuwalagaswewa. Acting swiftly, the said officer had gathered a team of wildlife officers and rushed to the location and rescued the elephant calf.

The elephant calf is said to be around four years old and it had sustained injuries to its legs and mouth.

The wildlife officers said the elephant calf may have been in the water hole for around two days and may have sustained the injuries while trying to get out of it.

They suspect that the elephant calf may have come to that spot with its mother and not being able to rescue the calf, the mother elephant may have abandoned it and returned to the jungle.

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 https://srilankamirror.com/photo-story/7970-elephant-calf-rescued-from-waterhole-pics

Wild elephant attack kills a woman in Welikanda



A 49-year-old woman was killed in a wild elephant attack in Welikanda, Polonnaruwa early this morning (Apr. 02). The victim, a resident of Aselapura in Welikanda had gone to fetch water when she was attacked.

 To read the full article, click on the story title

'We're going to die': Terrified British tourists scream as hungry male elephant tears up seats inside their safari jeep in Sri Lanka



This is the moment a gentle giant nearly turned into a stone-cold killer.

In shocking footage filmed in January this year, a hulking elephant attacks a jeep full of unsuspecting safari park tourists.

Attracted by the smell of food inside the four-wheeler at Yala National Park in Sri Lanka, the elephant approaches.


In seconds it has stuck its muscular trunk inside. Its tusks scrape the seats of the vehicle.

Rocking the car back and forth, the animal left the passengers fearing for their lives.

Bianca, 28, from London had been travelling with two British friends, a 28-year-old Argentinian and a 32-year-old Spaniard.

'We were in an open jeep looking at a young male elephant when it spotted us and started walking towards us,' said Bianca.

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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5570107/Were-going-die-Terrified-Bri.html

Friday, March 30, 2018

Farmer killed in wild elephant attack

A farmer who was on his way to his sweet corn cultivation from his paddy field was attacked by a wild elephant in Aralaganwila, Polonnaruwa.

The incident occurred early this morning (Mar. 26).

The 63-year-old farmer who was critically injured in the wild elephant attack died upon admission to hospital.

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http://www.vivalanka.com/newspage/5846828ai-farmer-killed-wild-elephant-attack

Monday, March 26, 2018

Wild elephant electrocuted (Photos)



A wild elephant has died of electrocution in Randeniya, Wellawaya.

Investigations found that the wild elephant got contacted with an illegally laid power line early this morning (Mar. 24).

The wildlife officials guess the age of the dead animal to be around 15 to 25 years.

This power line was laid over the Kirindi Oya and due to a short circuit, several other animals and fish had electrocuted in the area.

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http://www.vivalanka.com/newspage/5843309ai-wild-elephant-electrocuted-photos

Injured Elephant Paraded For Temple Festival In Kakkanad| Mathrubhumi News



Kochi: An elephant having deep wounds in its hind leg was paraded for a temple festival at Kakkanad in Kochi. The pachyderm-named Kuttisankaran-was paraded for the festival at Pattupurakkal temple here by hiding its wounds using charcoal powder. The elephant was struggling to walk and was showing discomfort when flies surrounded the injured area. Meanwhile, the mahout accidently stepped on its wound as he alighted from atop the elephant. The elephant was paraded with the support of a certificate obtained from a veterinary surgeon. The cruelty is taking place by violating the Forest Department’s order that bans parading of sick or injured elephants. As the matter came to notice, the SPCA officials informed the matter to the Forest Department. After they warned against parading the elephant, the mahouts shifted it out of the temple premises. However, they brought the jumbo back to the festival by evening. Kuttisankaran is owned by a Thrissur native.

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https://in-film.net/v-injured-elephant-paraded-for-temple-festival-in-kakkanad-mathrubhumi-news-jQega1iHpr0.html

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

A Sri Lankan mahout kisses his elephant ahead of a religious proc...



A Sri Lankan mahout kisses his elephant ahead of a religious procession in Colombo on March 1, 2018. Some 30 elephants, most of them from central Sri Lanka, along with thousands of traditional drummers, dancers, and monks are gathering in the capital to participate in the city's biggest two-day annual Buddhist procession.

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https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/sri-lankan-mahout-kisses-his-elephant-ahead-of-a-religious-news-photo/925750850#sri-lankan-mahout-kisses-his-elephant-ahead-of-a-religious-procession-picture-id925750850

Tamed elephant to be given for religious activities

Newly sworn-in Minister of Wildlife and Sustainable Development, Ravindra Samaraweera says a proper programme will soon be implemented to allocate tamed elephants for religious activities.

The Minister said this after assuming office at his Ministry this morning (Mar. 02).

Meanwhile, newly appointed Deputy Minister of Home Affairs, J. C. Alawathuwala also assumed duties today.

He was appointed to the post after UPFA MP Nimal Lansa resigned from the post earlier.

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http://www.hirunews.lk/184919/tamed-elephant-to-be-given-for-religious-activities

Kataragama elephant goes on rampage



A tensed situation erupted in Kiri Vehera premises in Kataragama yesterday (Mar. 01) when an elephant went on a rampage. It is reported that the elephant named, “Bhanu” who belongs to Abhayarama Vihara in Kiri Vehera had gone on the rampage when it was being escorted for a bath.

Pilgrims in the sacred area were alerted when the elephant started running.

However, the mahout was able to surrender the elephant before anyone is harmed.

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https://visitsrilanka.com/news/kataragama-elephant-goes-on-rampage/

Veggies trashed and thrown to jumbos



Gunny bags full of vegetables being thrown in corners to rot, wild elephants gorging on discarded vegetables, piles of produce discarded at economic centre garbage dumps – these have been common sights over the past weeks.

A glut in vegetable supply raised hopes of a drastic price drop in cities and towns but, unfortunately, both farmers and retail shoppers have not benefited.

The Hector Kobbekaduwa Agrarian Research and Training Institute (HARTI) said the wholesale prices of most varieties have dropped due to increased supplies from Jaffna to markets during the peak Maha season.

All vegetable prices at the Dambulla Economic Centre dropped, with brinjals sold for Rs, 50-60 per kilo, beans for Rs. 70-90/kg, carrots for Rs. 90/kg, cabbage for 15-25/kg, radishes for Rs. 10-15/kg and tomatoes for Rs. 20-25/kg to 25 rupees. Leeks, the only vegetable that saw an increase in price, went for Rs.140-160/kg.

To read the full article, click on the story title

Father of three dead due to an elephant attack in Maradanakada



COLOMBO (News 1st) – A father of three died in Dampalassagama, Maradankada following a wild elephant attack.

Our correspondent said the victim had gone to the woods yesterday morning in search of a medicinal plant.

The body of the victim had been discovered after area residents had searched for him as he failed to return.

Wildlife officers of Ganewappola confirmed that the victim had died from an elephant attack.

According to our correspondent, several such wild elephant attacks have been reported from the area before as well.

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https://www.newsfirst.lk/2018/03/father-three-dead-due-elephant-attack-maradanakada/

Three persons plead guilty for keeping tusks of "Kallaru elephant"

The three persons who were accused of keeping the pair of tusks of the Kallaru elephant have pleaded guilty to the offence.

They pleaded guilty when they were produced before Anuradhapura Chief Magistrate Harshana Kekunawela today (Mar. 13).

They were imposed a fine of Rs. 75,000 each.

The magistrate also sentenced the three suspects to rigorous imprisonment of 6 months each and it was suspended for 5 years.


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http://www.hirunews.lk/185802/three-persons-plead-guilty-for-keeping-tusks-kallaru-elephant

Stranded elephant rescued from well in Sri Lanka – BBC News



An elephant that found itself trapped in an agricultural well in Sri Lanka is free to roam again after a rescue operation.

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https://realtimewebnews.com/stranded-elephant-rescued-from-well-in-sri-lanka-bbc-news/

The Great Elephant Project Reaches Milestones With The Help Of Oranges!



12 years ago, The Great Elephant Project began a unique initiative to avoid increasing Human-Elephant Conflict (HEC) in the local communities in and around Wasgamuwa National Park.

As of last month, they have reached a major milestone with this incredible HEC solution, which is all centered around oranges… yes, you read it right, oranges!

Let’s go back to the roots of this new project: it all started when data collected on elephant food preferences revealed that they have a real distaste for oranges and citrus fruits in general. So much so, that the mammals completely avoided going anywhere near them!

The project then thought that they could plant orange trees where HEC occurs in the communities surrounding Wasgamuwa National Park, in an attempt to deter the elephants from raiding them. World renowned organisations such as Born Free Foundation and Elephant Care International helped to fund trial orange barriers which proved to be successful and this project is now expanding with the continued help of external organisations!


To read the full article, click on the story title

Elephants charge after safari jeeps.



Safari at Minneriya National Park, Sri Lanka. Elephants feel threatened and charge after the jeeps in an attempt chase the jeeps out of the immediate vicinity to defend their young. Family members from ages ranging from 10 to 55 were in the vehicle, watching the elephants. This occurred in a clearing, where the jungle opened up into flat plains inside the park.

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https://www.newsflare.com//video/189860/animals/elephants-charge-after-safari-jeeps

Friday, March 16, 2018

Temple tusker attacks Prof. Wimalarathana Thera

Bellanwila Wimalarathana Thera attacked by a temple tusker

Venerable Prof. Bellanwila Wimalarathana Thera has been attacked by a temple elephant and is now admitted to the Intensive Care Unit of Kalubowila Hospital.
 
The incident has occurred this morning when the Thera was serving food to 'Miyan Kumara' a tamed elephant at the temple.
 
Later, the Thera was taken to Kalubowila Hospital and now the Thera is receiving treatment at the ICU.
 
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http://www.hirunews.lk/182691/bellanwila-wimalarathana-thera-attacked-by-temple-elephant

Sri Lankans mourn Buddhist monk who dies after elephant attack

Venerable Bellanwila Wimalarathana Thera worked hard to build interreligious harmony

A senior Buddhist monk in Sri Lanka, known for his efforts to improve inter-religious relationships, passed away a day after he was attacked by a temple elephant.

Sri Lankans are mourning the death of Venerable Bellanwila Wimalarathana Thera who died of heart failure while in a Colombo hospital on Feb. 3. He was 77 years old.

His death occurred a day after an elephant attacked him in his temple. The monk was reportedly violently pushed to the ground by an elephant called "Myan Kumara" who was a gift from Myanmar in 2013.

The attack occurred when the monk was reportedly giving the animal food.

Venerable Wimalarathana Thera attempted to build interreligious harmony in post-civil war Sri Lanka. He was also the vice president of the Congress of Religions, a body of national religious leaders.

Retired Archbishop Oswald Gomis, a member of the Congress of Religions, said that Venerable Wimalarathana Thera was associated with good number of Catholic priests, Anglican ministers and also Muslims and Hindus.

"We were constantly making proposals to both government and ordinary people as to how we should live together irrespective of religion, caste and nationality or race," said Archbishop Gomis.

"There was an incident near his temple where the Catholic community wanted to build a church but some others were against this and began causing trouble but Venerable Wimalarathana Thera stepped in and said that all people in this country have rights and that the church should be allowed to occur," said Archbishop Gomis.

"We will hold him in respect and his memory will live within us for long years," he said.

Archbishop Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith described Venerable Wimalarathana Thera as an educated, humble and pious monk.

"I got the opportunity to associate with him closely on inter-religious coexistence and as a dear friend. I learnt his noble qualities which acted as guidance to my life too," he said in a statement.

The archbishop said the monk was a guiding light for the entire Sri Lankan Buddhist community.

"His love for the country was enormous. We salute him for his services to the nation, religion and to the country. I see this as a great loss to the nation which is unbearable," he said.

A cremation with state honors will be held on Feb. 8 at the Sri Jayawardenapura University ground.

Venerable Wimalarathana Thera obtained a Doctorate in Philosophy (Ph.D) in 1980 and was the chancellor of the University of Sri Jayawardhanapura.

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 https://www.ucanews.com/news/sri-lankans-mourn-buddhist-monk-who-dies-after-elephant-attack/81444

Sri Lanka police lose gun as elephants charge

COLOMBO: Sri Lankan police who were charged by elephants as they staked out a cannabis farm dropped an automatic rifle as they ran for their lives, sparking a hunt Sunday for the missing weapon.
Policemen who had been camping out near the plantation in a bid to catch crooks turned tail and scarpered after the huge creatures started hurtling after them.

"The constables dropped their weapons and fled to save their lives when the elephants charged," a statement said.

Officers were now looking for the T56 automatic assault rifle in the bush at Lunugamvehera, 225 kilometres (140 miles) south of the capital Colombo.

Sri Lanka has strict laws protecting elephants, which are considered sacred. However, about 200 jumbos are killed annually by farmers who say wild elephants stray onto their land and destroy their crops.

About 50 people are killed in wild elephant attacks annually.

Sri Lanka's elephant population has dwindled to just over 7,000, according to the latest census, down from an estimated 12,000 in 1900.

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https://www.nst.com.my/world/2018/01/327403/sri-lanka-police-lose-gun-elephants-charge

Thursday, February 08, 2018

Sri Lanka elephant kills top Buddhist monk

A senior Buddhist monk died in hospital Saturday, a day after being attacked by an elephant at his own temple near the capital, police said.

Bellanwila Wimalarathana, 77, was violently pushed to the ground by the tusker, but the mahout managed to prevent the monk from being gored, police said.

The monk was rushed to hospital but died a day later. He was also a vice chancellor of a state-run university and becomes the first high profile monk to be killed by a tamed elephant in the country.

The elephant was gift to the temple by the government of Myanmar in mid 2013 and it had been named "Myan Kumara."

Elephants are considered sacred animals protected by law in Sri Lanka. Several Buddhist temples have pet elephants which are paraded at annual pageants.

Despite laws protecting them, about 200 elephants are killed annually by farmers who say they stray onto their land and destroy crops. About 50 people are killed in wild elephant attacks annually.

Sri Lanka's elephant population has dwindled to just over 7,000, according to the latest census, down from an estimated 12,000 in 1900.

Please credit and share this article with others using this link:http://www.france24.com/en/20180203-sri-lanka-elephant-kills-top-buddhist-monk

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Wild elephants destroy cultivations in Kekirawa

The residents of Kekirawa say that a herd of wild elephants roaming in Kekirawa, Horapola, and Moragollagama is destroying their cultivations.

Our correspondent said paddy fields, coconut trees, and other crops have been destroyed in those villages.

The area residents accused that authorities have erected a substandard electric fence, allowing the wild elephants to breach the fence easily.

Please credit and share this article with others using this link:http://www.hirunews.lk/178303/wild-elephants-destroy-cultivations-in-kekirawa

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Wildlife Ministry to take tough action against elephant hunters

The Ministry of Sustainable Development and Wildlife has taken measures to increase the legal punishment for the killing of tuskers.

Minister Gamini Jayawickrama Perera said, officials of the Department of Wildlife and the Attorney General’s Department will meet day after tomorrow to discuss further on the matter.

Four tuskers were killed in the recent past.

According to a senior official of the department, one tusker at Ambanpola was gunned down yesterday.

He added that a team of doctors will be dispatched today, to treat the injured tusker.

Please credit and share this article with others using this link:http://www.ilankanews.com/wildlife-ministry-take-tough-action-elephant-hunters/

Friday, January 19, 2018

DEPUTY MINISTER INDIKA REFUTES ALLEGATIONS RELATING TO KILLED TUSKER

The Housing and Construction Deputy Minister Indika Bandaranayake says that he would resign from his portfolio if anyone proves that he has connections to the killing of tusker Dala Poottuwa.

He was responding to a question posed by Hiru news team.

The Deputy Minister is accused by certain sections of harbouring the suspects linked to the killing of the elephant.

However, the Deputy Minister admitted that one of the suspects currently on remand supported him during the last general election.

10 suspects have already been arrested in connection with the gunning down of Galgamuwe Dala Poottuwa and they are on remand.

Two Gramaseva ocers were arrested last Saturday along with three ivory pendants.

Meanwhile, Law and Order Minister Sagala Rathnayake posted a twitter stating that stern legal action will be taken against those kill elephants.

Please credit and share this article with others using this link:http://www.hirunews.lk/177559/deputy-minister-indika-refutes-allegations-relating-to-killed-tusker

Dalaputtuwa killing: Two Grama Niladharies arrested

Two Grama Niladharis were arrested on charges of being in possession of three ivory pendants during a raid on a house at Polpithigama.

The Polpithigama Police said the arrests were made on a tip off received by the Nikaweratiya Division Intelligence Unit.

They said suspects, one of whom was 32 and the other 43, were residents of Ma-Eliya and Makulpotha and would be produced in the Mahawa Magistrate's Court shortly.

The police said they launched investigations after the Walana- Panadura Anti-Vice Striking Unit had recovered a pair of elephant tusks and an ivory gemstone also known as gaja muthu from the possession of two suspects on November 23. One of the suspects was a Grama Niladhari.

Investigations had revealed that the tusks and the gaja muthu were removed from the Galgamuwe tusker better known as the Dala Poottuwa.

On Friday, the Police arrested five people on suspicion of being involved in the killing of this majestic tusker. (Darshana Sanjeewa)

Please credit and share this article with others using this link:http://www.dailymirror.lk/article/Dalaputtuwa-killing-Two-Grama-Niladharies-arrested--141496.html

Friday, December 29, 2017

Namal Laments Killings Of Elephants In Sri Lanka: Accuses Government Of Inaction

Parliamentarian Namal Rajapaksa, expressing his views on the rising number of elephant killings in Sri Lanka said, the government was taking no action to reverse this trend.

"It's unfathomable that this many elephants in #SriLanka have been killed this year. The Gov. was quick to arrest even Buddhist monks for having elephants at temples, yet they are taking no action to stop this needless killing of our most unique #wildlife treasures," Rajapaksa said, in a tweet, yesterday.

According to the statistics Rajapaksa has quoted 123 elephants have so far been killed this year.

The most number of elephant killings is reported from the Northern and North Central provinces.

The government, however, replaced the Wildlife Ministry Secretary in the light of allegations against the country's Wildlife authorities. Douglas Nanayakkara, previously the Secretary to the Special Assignments Ministry, has been appointed the new Wildlife Ministry Secretary.

Please credit and share this article with others using this link:http://tharunaya.com/english/englishnews-english-news-1512976465.html

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Another tusker found dead in Puttalam

Another elephant, a single tusker, was found shot dead at the Sellankandal Forest Reserve in Puttalam yesterday, Wild Life officials said.

They said that they suspect the elephant could be around 30-years old and might have been killed a day before yesterday.

A man who had gone to the forest to graze his cow had seen the elephant carcass and had informed the Wild Life officials.

They said several gunshot wounds had been detected on the carcass.

The autopsy into the elephant’s death is expected to be conducted today.

Please credit and share this article with others using this link:http://www.dailymirror.lk/article/Another-tusker-found-dead-in-Puttalam-141899.html

Elephant and calf rescued after falling into ditch near Mattala Airport

An elephant and her calf who had fallen into a unprotected ditch in front of the Mattala International Airport was rescued today (8) by wildlife officers. The two animals were rescued after an operation lasting over two ours by officers from the Department of Wildlife Conservation's (DWC) Hambantota Office and the Udawalawa Elephant Transit Home.

Wildlife officers said they had rescued three elephant calves from Hambantota District this year after they fell into ditches.

Please credit and share this article with others using this link:http://www.sundaytimes.lk/article/1036230/elephant-and-calf-rescued-after-falling-into-ditch-near-mattala-airport