Wednesday, October 18, 2017

A group of four baby elephants were rescued from a deep well in after they slipped down the muddy sides of the hole.

It shows food being dumped into the hole for the four elephant calves after a farmer discovered them while working in the early morning.

The elephants are sprayed with water to keep them hydrated and cool before wildlife officials arrive with a backhoe.

The construction equipment is used to dig a path for the baby pachyderms to walk to safety.

The baby elephants are seen at the end of the fleeing into the woods without any signs of injury from their time in the hole.

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Residents block road after woman killed by elephant

Angry residents blocked the Hambantota Suriyawewa main road on Friday after a 68-year-old woman was killed by a wild elephant while she was sweeping the premises out side her humble home.

P. Babynona was sweeping her garden at about 5.45 a.m. when the attack took place. She died on the
spot from her injuries.

Residents who gathered at the scene blocked the Hambantota-Suriyawewa road in protest claiming
that authorities had done nothing to protect the villagers from elephant attacks.

The residents even surrounded the vehicle of the Suriyawewa Divisional Secretary (DS), who arrived
at the scene to calm the situation. The residents refused to let the vehicle leave the area.

The DS told the residents that the issue of wild elephant attacks was not some thing he could solve
alone.

The residents how ever, refused to accept this explanation and continued to block the road for several
hours.

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Saturday, September 30, 2017

CDA declines another offer to shift ‘Kavaan’

The Capital Development Authority (CDA) once again declined a request from 'Free the Wild' to immediately shift 'Kavann' the elephant into a safe elephants' sanctuary abroad. However, the authority asked foreign experts to visit the Margazar Zoo.

A three-member delegation led by Mark Cown, a representative of 'Free the Wild', a United States based organisation working for animals' rights, met Islamabad Mayor Shaikh Anser Aziz on Tuesday in this regard.

Sources told Daily Times that the delegation had requested CDA to allow them to shift 'Kavaan' into a safe sanctuary anywhere in the world. "They also offered to give another new pair of elephants for the zoo in Islamabad," sources said.

The 33-year-old Asian elephant Kavaan has lived in the Islamabad zoo since he was a calf. He was gifted to General Zia by the Sri Lankan government. The elephant has been kept in chains for more than two decades.

The campaign to free him by animal lovers across the country and abroad last year led to a series of Senate hearings and the Senate Standing Committee on Cabinet Secretariat took up Kavaan's issue after the media reported on the terrible conditions under which he is being kept at the zoo.

In July 2016, the committee's chairman Senator Talha Mehmood and other members recommended that Kavaan be sent abroad to an elephant sanctuary. A sanctuary in Cambodia has offered to fly him out there free of cost and to keep him in a natural environment for the rest of his life.

However, the city managers have been reluctant to send the elephant abroad, fearing the loss of funds that are being used on the name of Kavaan's rehabilitation.

When contacted, Islamabad Environment Metropolitan Corporation Director General Dr Sheikh Suleman said: "It is too early to say that why we did not make a commitment with the delegation regarding shifting Kavaan."

"We have asked them to first visit the zoo and assess the present situation of the elephant and then we will discuss a suitable option in this regard," he said.

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Friday, September 22, 2017

Reckless driving causes death of ‘Kandula’

The safari elephant ‘Kandula’ who received injuries, died this morning (11) when the truck in which it had been transported, met with an accident.

56-year-old Kandula was being transported to Pinnawela Orphanage for medical treatment at the time of the accident.

Our correspondent stated that the elephant died of his injuries while receiving treatment at Illukwatta in Kadugannawa.

The truck in which the elephant was transported met with an accident due to the driver’s reckless driving last Saturday afternoon.

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Saturday, September 16, 2017

Irish lad gets more than he bargained for after stopping to feed wild elephant in Sri Lanka

Ross Fitzgerald was travelling through Sri Lanka with his girlfriend Elaine Harney when they had a hilarious encounter with nature.

AN Irish lad got a lot more than he bargained for when he stopped his tuk-tuk to feed an elephant in Sri Lanka.

Ross Fitzgerald and girlfriend Elaine Harney are currently travelling through the popular island just south of India.

The elephant approaches for some food.

Oops… the animal gets a bit too close.

In a hilarious video, Ross’ girlfriend captured the moment he walked over to the elephant to feed him some food out of his hand.

But the cheeky elephant decided to grab the tuk-tuk with his trunk and started to shake the vehicle.

Screams and laughter can be heard in the background as Ross moves back and the playful elephant pushes the tuk-tuk over on its side.

The video was taken at the Leopard Trails Yala National Park – which is a popular destination with backpackers.

And if Ross’ hashtags are anything to go by, we reckon he’s learned his lesson to not feed wild elephants in future.

To read the full article, click on the story title

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Sri Lanka not to allow elephants to be sent overseas

The Sri Lankan government will not allow the capture of elephants and having them transported overseas following concerns that the elephant population was increasing in the island country, a local media report said here Wednesday.

Minister of Sustainable Development and Wild Life Gamini Jayawickrama Perera said that capturing and sending elephants overseas was a a violation of the world wild life regulations and Sri Lanka would not grant permit for this.

He said Sri Lanka would next year carry out a census to obtain an accurate figure of all the wild elephants in the country.

In response to concerns raised on the human-elephant conflict, Perera said that the government was addressing the issue but the main reason that such conflicts occurred was due to a haphazard manner in which forests were being cleared.

Between 2010 to 2017, more than 25 people died as a result of wild elephant attacks in Sri Lanka while around 57 elephants also died during this period.

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Saturday, September 09, 2017

Elephants on 'hostile territory' in Sri Lanka

Udawalawe National Park, Sri Lanka - It is difficult to predict when the elephants will come.

As darkness falls around Sri Lanka's Udawalawe National Park, the 52 villages that speckle its borders go on alert. Thin wire fences hum with the threat of electricity.

Across the dry zone, farmers climb up into rudimentary treehouses overlooking their paddy fields. They must try to stay alert as the darkness deepens. Armed only with torches, fireworks, and their voices - loud and hoarse - they may be forced to face down giants.

Ashoka Ranjeewa, an elephant researcher, has spent many nights out here. When he first arrived in Pokunuthanna, there were few friendly faces. Bordered on two sides by the national park, and on one side by the Dahaiyagala sanctuary, this village of some 100 families has seen more than its fair share of elephant attacks. Farmers here allege the compensation they are paid is meagre and comes late. Outsiders only come to gawk, taking pictures, commiserating.

None of this stops the elephants from coming.

Killer elephants

The foragers are most often male elephants - bulls - on average weighing in at 5,000-6,000 kilogrammes, and reaching over three metres tall, these are among the largest land animals alive.

The villagers of Pokunuthanna used to believe just four to five bulls took turns invading their land. But when Ranjeewa installed some infrared night vision cameras, he raised the count to 35.

To read the full article, click on the story title

Wild elephant goes on rampage killing one in Vadamaraadchi East, Jaffna

A 50-year-old man who went to a palmyra grove at Vaththiraayan in Uduththu'rai in Vadamaraadchi East of Jaffna district to collect firewood was brutally killed by a wild elephant that went on rampage in the early hours of Monday. Two men survived the attack with injuries. This is the first time a wild elephant has managed to enter Vadamaraadchi East in the recent times. The fatality comes as the SL authorities failed to take action despite eyewitnesses reporting about the wild elephant on Friday. Nobody has ever spotted a wild elephant in Vadamaraadchi East and this is the first fatality due to wild elephant attack in Jaffna district in the recent years. The area where the incident took place is a marshland surrounded by waters and the area, lacking potable water and consumable vegetation, is not fit for the survival of elephants.

Occupying Colombo's Wildlife Department and Forest Department officials have been collaborating in bringing wild elephants from Sinhala areas in the South into the jungles in the North-East, especially after the end of genocidal war in Vanni 2009.   As a result, tens of resettling Eezham Tamils have been killed and several properties destroyed, particularly in the Eastern district of Batticaloa, which is bordering Polonnaruwa jungle. Similar attacks have also been reported in Mullaiththeevu, Vavuniyaa and Mannaar districts after 2009.   Apart from the wild-elephants, many orphaned elephants that were kept in the Uda Walawe Elephant Transit Camp in Sabaragamuwa province in the South have also been brought into Mullaiththeevu jungle in the recent past.   Recently, the SL Wildlife Department was also expanding Chu'ndik-ku'lam bird sanctuary in Vadamaraachi East.   Tamil activists allege that the SL Department was having a hidden agenda of genocidal land grab.

Through various programs and by deploying SL military at the region, the SL State has been aiming to permanently choke Jaffna by turning the narrow strip of Chu’ndikku’lam sandbar, which links the peninsula with Vanni mainland, into a Sinhala colony with tourist resorts, liquor shops, prawn farming industry and by encouraging southern fishermen to seize the fishing beds.

The elderly people and women, who use to collect deadwood from the thickets of Ka'ndal vegetation and from the palmyra groves, have been chased away by the SL military, which is collaborating with the Forest and Wildlife departments of occupying Colombo.    The SL military which claims to be in possession of helicopter-assisted technology to trace humans in the think jungles, has been unable to trace the wild-elephant in the marshland, the villagers complain.   The slain victim was identified as Sittampalam Sathiyaseelan.

One of the two men who survived the attack, V. Murukan, has lost one foot.   Tension prevails in Uduththu’rai and hundreds of families have moved closer to the main roads and the highway.   The fishermen societies and representatives of rural development societies have urged the authorities to take immediate action to capture and relocate the wild elephant away from Vadamaraadchi East.

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Thursday, September 07, 2017

A wild elephant rummages through garbage

A wild elephant rummages through garbage dumped at an open ground in the village of Digampathana in north-central Sri Lanka on August 19, 2017.

Sri Lanka has banned the dumping of garbage at open fields and near wildlife reserves, but the practice continues.

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Wild elephants torment Konwewa villagers

Residents of Konwewa in Maho are living in constant fear of a herd of wild elephants that roam into
villages. They said a herd of more than 30 wild elephants have been destroying cultivated land and home garden crops for over a week.

A villager called the Wildlife Office in the presence of the media only to be told they did not have a vehicle to come.

The herd with several calves had roamed into the village last evening while the villagers remained behind closed doors. The villagers said they had reported the appearance of the herd of elephants to the Wildlife Conservation Department but there had been no response.

Meanwhile a villager called the Wildlife Office in the presence of media personnel only to be told they did not have a vehicle to come.

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Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Deputy Minister proposes to export wild elephants

Skills Development and Vocational Training Deputy Minister, Karunarathna Paranawithana says that surplus wild elephants should be sold to foreigners in order to resolve the human – elephant conflict.

Deputy Minister Paranawithana said this while chairing the Balangoda Coordinating Committee Meeting at the Divisional Secretariat today (04).

Various factions pointed out in the meeting that a solution should be found to the human-elephant conflict.

At that moment, Deputy Minister Paranawithana said that only 4,000 wild elephants should remain in the country, but it has increased up to 6,000.

When participants pointed out the nuisance created by wild boar and monkeys, the Deputy Minister said that if permission is to be given to kill such animals, permission should be given to sell their flesh as well.

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Saturday, September 02, 2017

On Sri Lanka have organized a parade with elephants under the name "Tooth Festival"

Most brightly during the holiday animals who were in every possible way decorated looked. "The tooth festival" on the Sri Lanka.

On Sri Lanka have organized a bright religious celebration. Will look at a show thousands of people have gathered. It is said in TSN plot.

The Holiday which has the name "Tooth Festival" is carried out every year to honor a sacred relic - tooth of Buddha which is stored in the city of Kandy. During the parade the relic is taken on the downtown. Part in action is taken by dozens of dancers in national suits and brightly dressed up elephants.

of Animals who participate in a parade is decorated with bright carpets, suits, flowers and even an illyumanation.

On Sri Lanka have organized a parade with elephants under the name "Tooth Festival"

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Friday, August 25, 2017

Explosives killing hundreds of elephants, protection handicapped

A four-year-old elephant, which had suffered severe injuries after biting an explosives-packed device used to hunt wild animals for human consumption is fighting for its life.

The illegal device commonly known as —‘hakka pattas’ — a mixture of explosives with lead and ball bearings inserted into a piece of pumpkin had been placed in a location in Hambantota. It is at that site where the wounded animal had been found nearly two weeks after the incident.

The explosion had mutilated its jaw bones, teeth, and ripped off a foot long piece of trunk. The animal is being treated at the Elephant Transit Home Udawalawe.

Veterinary surgeon, Dr Malaka Abeywardena told the Sunday Times that even after three days of treatment, there had not been any improvement as of Friday.

“Due to the damage to the jaw and teeth of the elephant calf it has to take liquid food. It is malnourished and weak making anaesthetised surgery impossible.’’

Dr Abeywardena said that that the calf would have roamed near Hambantota harbour for over a week after being wounded. The animal’s mouth and the side of it’s head was infested with maggots.

“Antibiotics are given twice a day, while saline, energy boosting medicine and vitamins are given regularly,’’ he said.

Incidents of elephants being killed by using hakka patas, shooting them or poisoning them are on the rise.

Within the last five years, from 2012 to 2016 around 1,171 elephants have died out of which only 104 had died due to natural causes, according to the Wildlife Department.

The survey on the elephant population done in 2011 revealed that the number of elephants in the country around 5,800.

Statistics show that during last year alone 279 elephants were found dead and only 35 of them had died due to natural causes.

Dr Tharaka Prasad, director of wildlife health at the Wildlife Department as well as the chief veterinary surgeon, said more deaths take place because of gun shot wounds.

He said that a tusker and another elephant suffering from gunshot injuries are struggling for their lives in Kala Wewa, Anuradhapura and in Minneriya respectively.

“Elephants which are shot can only be identified when the animal shows signs of weakness or seen limping towards a pool of water. Its too late then as it is badly infected by that time,’’ he said.

Dr Prasad noted instances of elephants wounded by trap guns set up by farmers and surviving for years after the wounds heal, but the corrosion of the iron balls embedded in their flesh, kills them eventually.

He explained that some farmers kill elephants by using toxic pesticide in vegetables. Electric fences can also kill elephants in minutes or within days.

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Sunday, August 20, 2017

Police Arrests a Woman For Keeping Unlicensed Elephant Tusks

A woman has been arrested by the crime branch of the Borelesgamuwa police station for keeping a pair of elephant tusks without the licence.

The suspect is a resident of Gangodawila, Nugegoda Damayanthi Noelin Karunaratne.

The suspect woman was granted two personal bails worth Rs 100,000 each.

A Hearing will take place on September 28 at the Gangodawila Magistrate’s Courts.

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Saturday, August 19, 2017

Kandy Esala Perahera faces 'elephant crisis'

This year's Kandy Esala Perahera will be without its ‘star’ attractions -- the tuskers Nadungamuwe Raja, Wasana and Kelaniya Raja, while two other tuskers belonging to the Sri Dalada Maligawa would not taking apart in the perahera.

The Maligawa officials said ‘Nadungamuwa Raja’ and ‘Wasana’ were among the elephants at the Kataragama Perahera while 'Kelaniya Raja' would not be available for the Kandy Perahera beginning on July 29.

The Sri Dalada Maligawa spokesman said one of the eight tuskers -- ‘Migara’ would not be available during the Perahera season and therefore the organisers may have to manage with the remaining five tuskers. He said usually three elephants were required to carry the sacred relics casket, whereas only two other elephants would take part in the Perahera.

According to him, another tusker, a gift from former Myanmar President to President Maithripala Sirisena, is expected to arrive in the country soon. But it was doubtful whether it would arrive before the Perahera, as it takes time to be suffeciently trained.

Meanwhile the Basnayake Nilame for Natha Devale, Gayan Heenkenda said the four Devales participating in the Perahera were facing a similar issue without elephants.

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Saturday, August 05, 2017

Sri Lanka navy rescues two elephants washed out to sea

Two young elephants washed out to sea were saved from drowning Sunday by the Sri Lankan navy in the second such incident off the island in as many weeks.

The navy said the pair of wild elephants were brought ashore after a “mammoth effort” involving navy divers, ropes and a flotilla of boats to tow them back to shallow waters.

Photos showed the elephants in distress, barely keeping their trunks above water in the deep seas about one kilometre off the coast of Sri Lanka.

“Having safely guided the two elephants to the shore, they were subsequently released to the Foul Point jungle (in Trincomalee district),” the navy said in a statement.

“They were extremely lucky to have been spotted by a patrol craft which called in several other boats to help with the rescue.”

Two weeks ago, the navy mounted a similar operation in the same region to save a lone elephant washed eight kilometres (five miles) off the Sri Lankan coast into the deep waters of the Indian Ocean.

Navy officials say the animals were likely swept out while crossing shallow lagoons in the region.
They are not the only wildlife to encounter trouble in the biodiverse island.

In May, the navy and local residents saved a pod of 20 pilot whales that became stranded in Trincomalee, a natural harbour that is popular for whale watching.

The waters around Trincomalee, which were used by Allied forces as a staging post during World War II, have a high concentration of blue and sperm whales, while the surrounding jungles have herds of wild elephants.

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Monday, July 24, 2017

Hambantota authorities ensure safe distance between elephants and fans

Elephants have been known to invade the Hambantota stadium pitch in the dead of night, but it is spectators who are likely to stray into elephant territory when the venue hosts three ODIs in the coming week, a forest warden has warned. Hambantota's Widlife Department office confirmed they will deploy staff between the stadium and the nearby jungle, to ensure no cricket fans stray into the range of an elephant herd known to forage in the area.

"The jungle starts about 300-400 metres from the stadium, and we know there is a herd whose range can be about a kilometre or two from the venue," forest warden JAC Vijaykumara said. "It's unlikely that the elephants will come towards the stadium during the day, but people have been known to go into the forest - sometimes even to have a drink - so we've prepared a team which will be stationed there to prevent that."

The ground, which is surrounded on three sides by thick vegetation, is situated in the southeast of Sri Lanka, which is renowned for its wildlife. Leopards, sloth bears, deer and water buffalo roam nearby national parks and forest reserves, along with all manner of reptile and bird life. During previous series in Hambantota, elephants have charged the vehiclse of cricket journalists returning to their hotel after a match, and on another occasion, a vehicle belonging to venue staff collided with a water buffalo resting on the road. Venomous snakes are also frequently seen in the vicinity of the ground.

Vijayakumara said there had also been at least two instances in which elephants had busted through the perimeter fence and made their way into the ground. "But both of those instances were in the night, and they were when the ground had been left empty for weeks," he said. "With the coming matches being day games, we don't anticipate elephants will come to the ground at that time."

He said this was not the first occasion in which the local Wildlife Department stationed staff near the ground. "The ground is near the jungle, so we've taken these sorts of precautions a few times before. We haven't had to do it in a while only because there haven't been matches."

The first of three ODIs at Hambantota will be played on Thursday. The ground had not hosted an international match since July 2015.

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Thursday, July 06, 2017

Sri Lanka seeks World Bank assistance for elephant conservation

Sri Lanka has sought assistance from the World Bank for the conservation of its wild elephant population, an official said here on Tuesday.

Sri Lanka boasts 6,000 wild elephants. It is a major tourist attraction in the island nation.
Director General of the Wildlife Conservation Department W.S.K. Pathiratne told Xinhua that another countrywide census would be conducted at the end of the year to estimate the total number of jumbos in the wild. The last was conducted in 2011.

"We found 5789 elephants in the wild. It is a high number. It might have increased by now," he said.
Wild elephants are scattered throughout the country. But they are found mostly in the dry zone forests.

"With the increase of the number, the country also faces the increased incidence of human-elephant conflict. We have worked out a plan for the conservation of elephants while protecting human habitats as well," he said.

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Majestic tusker killed in turf war

The iconic, oldest tusker in the Yala National Park, Thilak, was killed in a tussle with another elephant named Kabila (Thani Dalaya) in Sithulpawwa last Wednesday.

As the largest tusker among some 120 tuskers in Sri Lanka, the 60-year-old Thilak was the centre of attraction for tourists who visited Yala. His massive tusks curved inwards in a cross making him well known.

Veterinary physician Dr. Ananda Dharmakeerthi said that heavy injuries to the abdomen during the attack by the other elephant may have led to Thilak’s death.

Local environmentalists say it is rare for a 20-year-old elephant to take on a tusker as big and senior as Thilak. Former Deputy Director of the Wildlife Department, Dr. Nandana Attapattu, explained that altercations among elephants emerged when they tried to dominate a particular territory.

Dr. Attapattu said as many as 10 tuskers were killed by poachers and hunters in the past.

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Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Sri Lankan baby elephant gets international attention

The elephant donated to South Korea by the Sri Lankan government in 2010 got quite a fright when her baby fell into a pool at the Grand Park Zoo in Seoul, South Korea.

The footage recorded by the zoo shows the curious one-year-old elephant – christened ‘Korilanka’ to mark the ties between Sri Lanka and Korea – getting close to the water’s edge and accidentally tumbling in.

Fortunately, the baby elephant was not actually drowning, says Joyce Poole, a National Geographic explorer and co-founder of Elephant Voices: “When elephants swim, they put their trunk out of the water and continue to breathe.”

In the video, the National Geographic reports, the baby can be seen doing this snorkeling behavior—meaning it was in no imminent danger.

Even though the family knows the baby can swim, they are still clearly alarmed it has fallen in without meaning to, as evidenced by their quickly flapping ears, says Poole.

Even the elephant in the background of the video, separated by a fence, starts rapidly pacing back and forth.

“Elephants are drama queens, especially the females. If anything kind of dramatic events happens in the family, it is cause for great excitement,” Poole explains. “It is part of the bonding process.”

The uniquely close family bonds and capacity for empathy of elephants is evident in this display. Only one of the female elephants that helps the baby is its parent, the mother. The other larger, older elephant that springs into action to help,a 36-year-old, is a bonded family member that gets just as worried about the infant as its own mother.

National Geographic points out that in the wild, the older female elephant would likely be a grandmother or aunt of the baby, but in captivity, unrelated elephants are housed together and still form close bonds.

In the video, the two bonded females are clearly close as they coordinate to help the baby out of the water and back to the safety of dry land, the National Geographic reports.

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Sunday, June 25, 2017

Elephant in Sri Lankan Buddhist procession kills monk

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka –  An elephant that was part of a Sri Lankan Buddhist procession attacked and killed a monk, police said Monday.

Police spokesman Priyantha Jayakody said three elephants were walking in the procession Sunday night when one suddenly went on a rampage and attacked the monk in the coastal town of Kochchikade, about 42 kilometers (26 miles) north of Colombo. The 25-year-old monk died at a hospital early Monday.

Colorfully decorated elephants are an important part of Buddhist religious processions and festivals. Temples and wealthy families often own the animals and rent them out for such events.
However, animal rights activists say the elephants are often kept in inhumane conditions and receive insufficient food.

Authorities say there are about 127 tamed elephants that are used for processions and other religious ceremonies by Sinhalese Buddhists, who make up 70 percent of the island’s 20 million people.
Having an elephant in the backyard has long been a sign of wealth, privilege and power. For hundreds of years, elephants have been used for such religious activities and as well as for battles by ancient kings.

Sri Lanka has about 6,000 elephants, but those in the wild are threatened by habitat loss and degradation. An estimated 200 elephants are killed every year, mainly by farmers trying to protect their crops. In the 19th century there were believed to be up to 14,000 elephants.

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One Died in Elephant Attack

A resident of Dhammitha ,Arangavila area, attacked by the wild elephant while he is returning from the farm on a motorbike, and died after admitted to the hospital with severe injuries.

The incident took place at 10.30 am yesterday (13).

The victim was identified as 63-year-old, who lives in Dhammitha area. The Arangavila police are conducting further inquiries into the incident

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Longest surviving tasker in yala dies

The longest surviving tusker in the Yala National Park, fondly called “Thilak”, died last afternoon following a tussle between another elephant named “Thani Dalaya” in Sithulpawwa.

Here Wild Life Enthusiast Srilal Miththapala pays tribute to Tilak, the iconic and senior-most tusker of the Yala National Park who died yesterday

Late last afternoon telephone lines of few elephant enthusiasts were humming as the sad news of the sudden death of Tilak, the iconic, senior tusker of Yala filtered through.

Unlike his erstwhile, and notorious young‘friend’ Gemunu, Tilak never hogged the limelight. In fact Tilak was the exact antithesis to Gemunu.

Tilak’s amiable and sedate temperament allowed thousands of visitors the wonderful opportunity to observe a one of the largest tuskers in Sri Lanka, at close quarters, and his pictures are abundant, as seen on the many posts on Facebook after his death.  There is not one incident on record of any hostile interaction with this gentle animal, to my knowledge.

Tilak seemed to have been around in Yala ‘forever’ as most of us regular visitors to Yala can remember. He must have been about 55 years old and was possibly the largest and oldest tusker in the park. His massive tusks were curved inwards, the right slightly more than the left.With advancing age, Tilak has been frequently sighted in the outer periphery entrance area of the park, close to the main road, possibly because he had less competition from other elephants in this area rather than inside the park.

Due to the elephant’s mild disposition, many of us who interact and study wild elephants are intrigued about this incident.

To read the full article, click on the story title

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Sri Lanka implements a waste recycling program in wildlife zones to protect wild elephants

The Government of Sri Lanka says improper waste disposal have impacted badly on environment as well as animals, especially elephants and therefore will take measures to implement a waste recycling program in areas where wild elephants are roaming to protect them.

According to the government, about 54 waste disposing dumps are located in wild life zones and about 300 wild elephants are loitering around these dumps.

"Eating this waste has become a threat to their health," the government said in a statement.

As a solution to this problem, the Cabinet of Ministers has approved a proposal jointly put forward by the Minister of Sustainable Development and Wildlife Gamini Jayawickrama Perera and Minister of Provincial Councils and Local Government Faizer Mustafa to implement a waste recycling program giving priority to such wildlife zones.

The government said local authorities would be banned from dumping solid waste in the open, and would be required to establish recycling plants and use hygienic methods of waste disposal.

The cabinet also approved erecting electric fences to prevent wild elephants from reaching the waste dumps.

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Thursday, June 08, 2017

Two elephants rescued from well in Hambantota

A female elephant and her calf who had fallen into an agricultural well in Bathalayagama, Hambantota have been rescued by officers from the Hambantota Wildlife Range Office.

After being informed of the two trapped elephants he officers used a backhoe to dig a path for the elephants to get out of the well. The operation took over an hour.

Wildlife officers believe that the two elephants had remained trapped inside the well for about two days.

They also said that the trunk of the baby elephant exhibited signs of injury. It is suspected that the elephant had been injured after getting caught in barbed wire in a trap set by hunters.

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Friday, June 02, 2017

4 individuals killed following an accident in Polonnaruwa- Bendiwewa

4 individuals were killed, after the motorcycle they were riding collided with a bus in Polonnaruwa- Bendiwewa,

Police media spokesperson  noted that the accident occurred around 12.45 this morning

It has been reported that the deceased were between the ages of 23 and 47.

It was further noted that the driver of the bus has been arrested in connection to the incident.

Meanwhile, 7 individuals including 2 children have been injured owing to a collision between a car and a wild elephant which was crossing the Habarana- Trincomalee main road.

Police stated that the wild elephant was killed in accident which occurred last night.

Amongst those injured were staff from Trincomalee hospital including a doctor.

They are currently receiving treatment at Dambulla base hospital.

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Two elephants rescued from well in Hambantota

A female elephant and her calf who had fallen into an agricultural well in Bathalayagama, Hambantota have been rescued by officers from the Hambantota Wildlife Range Office.

After being informed of the two trapped elephants he officers used a backhoe to dig a path for the elephants to get out of the well. The operation took over an hour.

Wildlife officers believe that the two elephants had remained trapped inside the well for about two days.

They also said that the trunk of the baby elephant exhibited signs of injury. It is suspected that the elephant had been injured after getting caught in barbed wire in a trap set by hunters.

Please credit and share this article with others using this link:http://www.sundaytimes.lk/article/1022142/two-elephants-rescued-from-well-in-hambantota

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Wild Elephant Attack In Anuradhapura

A Wild elephant attack took place in Galkiriyagama, Anuradhapura this morning around 7.20 am. A five year old girl, Nirupama Lakshani Marasinghe was killed and her grandmother and  one-and half year old sister were injured.

This incident happened when the three victims on their way to Nirupama’s Pre School. They were admitted to Andiyagala Hospital and unfortunately Nirupama died due to worse injuries.

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Wild elephant hit by a bus in Polonnaruwa

A wild elephant has been hit by a bus near the Manampitiya bridge in Polonnaruwa.

Police stated that the wild elephant has collided with a bus plying from Dehi-aththa-kandiya to Colombo around 3.20 AM this morning.

It is reported that the wild elephant is in a critical condition and that Wildlife officers are currently treating the injured elephant.

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Elephant calf and its mother rescued from Sri Lanka well

An elephant calf and its mother were rescued after being trapped in a well for over two days in Hambantota, Sri Lanka.

A heart warming video shows wildlife workers using a digger to help save the two distressed elephants.

The workers had to dig a path for the elephants so that they could navigate their way out of the well.

According to the wildlife team, the jumbos had remained trapped in the agricultural well for over two days.

But when Hambantota Wildlife got a call about the incident, they managed to rescue the elephants within an hour.

After making their way out of the well, the elephants made their way into the nearby forest range.

This is not the first heartwarming elephant rescue.

An elephant calf and its mother were rescued after being trapped in a well for over two days in Hambantota, Sri Lanka

In February a six-year-old female elephant was rescued after she fell 30ft into a dried-up farm well in Southern India.

To read the full article, click on the story title

Saturday, April 29, 2017

A Sri Lankan Mission To Save Endangered Elephants

Deforestation, poaching and civil war have had a devastating impact on Sri Lanka’s elephant population. One orphanage for elephants is working to bring the species back from the brink of extinction.

SABARAGAMUWA — As the sun rises over the lush mountains in the Sri Lankan province of Sabaragamuwa, a team of veterinarians prepare very large bottles of milk. The babies, Pandula and Migara, are orphans and they are definitely hungry. Once presented their breakfast, they impatiently consume it.

The babies are two calves at the Pinnawala Elephants Orphanage.

Chandrika Priyadhashani, the research and education assistant at the orphanage, says, "They come from the wild, so we have to look after them during their lifetime. And their ages are below five."

Pandula and Migara were rescued from the Ritigala forest several years ago.

Over recent decades, massive development has seen elephant habitats in Sri Lanka shrink. Thousands of acres of thick forest have been cut down to make way for residential areas and agricultural land.

"So many wildlife animals lives were damaged, especially the elephants. They need big forests," Priyadhashani says. "So many of our elephants’ babies were orphaned."

As their habitat has been drastically reduced, elephants now wander into farms in search of food. Hundreds have been killed by people in surrounding communities because they are seen as a nuisance even though they are endangered.

To read the full article, click on the story title


Sunday, April 23, 2017

Four elephants were hoisted from a well, using ropes and a digger in a dramatic rescue.

The elephants were spotted by locals after they had fallen into a well in Kombuvaittakulam, an area in the Sri Lankan town of Omanthai.

It is believed that the two adult elephants and two calves had come to drink water from the well.

After villagers raised an alarm, a rescue team arrived at the spot to get the giant animals out from the well.

A forest official said: “First, we rescued the elephant calves with ropes as it was difficult to bring in a digger to the area.

“But when we were unable to rescue the adult elephants using ropes, we somehow managed to bring in the digger and managed to pull them out,” he added.

In the video, the frightened elephants can be seen trying to attack the digger, however, the wildlife officials blasted water bombs to chase them away.

The elephants ran towards the nearby forest after the rescue operation.

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Friday, April 14, 2017

Sri Lankan court case against gifting elephant to New Zealand shifts focus to conservation

On a writ petition filed by animal rights activists and Buddhist and Christian organisations, the Court of Appeal has stayed the export of the baby elephant “Nandi” and fixed May 26 as the next date for hearing the case.

Meanwhile, the Attorney General had appointed two committees to revise the regulations relating to the export of baby elephants to other countries. The committees are expected to give their reports before May 26.

It was in 2016, when the then New Zealand Prime Minister John Key visited Sri Lanka, that President Sirisena had announced that he would gift to New Zealand the baby elephant Nandi kept in the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. But opposition to this rose both in Sri Lanka and in New Zealand. The grounds were similar.

The New Zealand animal rights organisation SAFE said in a statement that it was “deadly opposed” to bringing another elephant into the country.

The first of many reasons for this being that transporting and caring for an elephant in captivity is extravagantly more expensive than maintaining them in the wild.

However, the most important reason is that female elephant often never leave their mothers or mother figures. Even though Nandi was orphaned, she will be brutally ripped away from her family and sold to solidify foreign relations.

'Nandi' is not the first elephant to be sent to New Zealand from Sri Lanka, as another was sold to them last year,” SAFE said.

To read the full article, click on the story title

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Pair of elephant tusks seized

Wildlife officials Keerthi Bandarapura and Hasalaka on Tuesday seized a pair of tusks made out of a bone of an elephant from the residence of the Basnayake Nilame of Kandy Kataragama Devalaya, Gemunu Tikri Banda Walisundera.

The wildlife officers found two tusks 2 feet and 7 inches in height and some bones from the Ganegoda Walawwa of the Basnayake Nilame at Butewatta in Thalathuoya.

Following the seizure, a furious Basnayake Nilame allegedly showed the Wildlife officials the permits he holds for tusks and told them that the two feet of tusks which had been bought from a former Basnsayake Nilame.

He asked whether he was not allowed to possess elephant bones.
Basnayake Nilame Wallisundera told the ‘Daily Mirror’ that there are unlicensed Tuskers, young and old, then there are elephant skeletons in houses without licenses.

“Why are Wildlife officials overlooking for them come after me? Is it because I am doing a ‘clean’ job at the Kandy Kataragama Devalaya?,” he asked.

He also told the ‘Daily Mirror’, that he is filing a “Rights petition” as his Human Rights had been violated by these officials.

However, it was reported that the pair of tusks had been seized since the Nilame was not in possession of a licence or any other document to keep the tusks with him. Wildlife officials said it was a punishable offence to keep tusks or bones of an elephant without a valid licence.

They said the tusks were produced in the Kandy Magistrate’s Court the previous evening and the Nilame was ordered to appear in Courts on March 27. He had been released on Wildlife bail.

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Thursday, March 30, 2017

Endangered Asian Elephant Found With a Nail Hammered in Its Leg in Sri Lanka

A heart-wrenching video of an injured elephant in in agonizing pain in Sri Lanka recently emerged on social media. The male elephant reportedly collapsed in a puddle of mud near a jungle and was unable to get up.

In the touching footage, rescuers from Kottukachchiya in Sri Lanka are seen comforting the hurt elephant as it lays in the mud. Locals who responded to save the poor animal reportedly discovered that a nail was hammered on one of its legs, according to the Daily Mail.

Concerned villagers tried to ease the elephant’s condition by offering it some fruits to eat. Others cleaned its wounds by washing it with saline water.

It was not reported if poachers had caused the injury to the animal which is typically hunted down in the country for its valuable ivory tusks.

To read the full article, click on the story title

Friday, March 24, 2017

Elephant runs on a rampage in Matara Perahera

An elephant that was participating in the annual Duruthu Perahera in Gandara Wijeyaratnarama Viharaya in Matara has gone on a rampage last night.

The incident has caused panic among the spectators.

However, several mahouts, wildlife officials and police has given anesthesia to the elephant and controlled the situation.

The angry elephant has damaged four tree-wheelers and a car, Gandara police said. It has also damaged four electricity poles and three telephone poles.

Few people were also injured when the group panicked.

It is believed that the elephant was provoked by flashing lights.

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Sunday, March 19, 2017

Wildlife Department nurses polythene-ingested elephant to heath

The Giritale Wildlife Department nursed to health an elephant that was found to have consumed vast amounts of polythene.

The elephant was found lying in a swamp at Manampitiya, Nelumwila on January 29.

The Giritale Wildlife Department said the elephant was moved out of the swamp with a backhoe and treated with 30 bottles of saline.

Giritale Wildlife Department veterinary surgeon said the elephant had discharged 40 kilogrammes of polythene, after being given 40 litres of water and 3 litres of coconut oil.

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Friday, March 10, 2017

Elephant uses backside to show safari group her disapproval

An elephant in Sri Lanka showed her displeasure with a safari group's proximity to her herd by rubbing her backside against a safari vehicle.

The video, filmed by a person on a private safari earlier this year at Yala National Park, shows the elephant approach the safari vehicles after apparently becoming displeased at their proximity to her herd, which included at least one baby.

"One of the young females got a little uncomfortable with our presence near the baby and came towards the Jeeps," the filmer wrote online.

"She passed my Jeep very closely and then used her backside to push against the other (which was full of local tourists). The tour guides sprayed water at her to dissuade her from damaging their vehicle. She pressed hard against the truck and then walked away," the filmer said.


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‘Displaced’ wild elephants evicted from Hambantota Port

Officers from the Hambantota Office of Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC) launched an operation on Monday evening to evict a herd of wild elephants that had entered the premises of the Hambantota Magampura Port.

The operation lasted from 5.30pm to about 9.00pm and DWC officers were able to chase away some 15 elephants who had made their way into the port.

Officials from the China Harbor Engineering Corporation had told the DWC that about 40 wild elephants were roaming around the port premises and were causing damage to property on a daily basis.

Environmentalists however, point out that the main reason for such incidents is the continued reluctance on the part of officials to declare a separate reserve for wild elephants in the Hambantota region who have become displaced due to the construction of the Magampura Port and the Mattala Airport. They note that the former regime ignored the recommendation to declare an elephant reserve despite it being explicitly stated in the Enviornmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) of the two projects. The tragedy is that the present Government is adopting the same approach as the former, they notee. This has resulted in about 350 wild elephants in the region being evicted from their natural habit which has been taken over for development work.

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Friday, March 03, 2017

Cabinet approves hike in compensation for victims of elephant attacks

The Cabinet of Ministers has recently approved the increase of compensations paid for damages caused by wild elephant attacks on individuals and properties.

Accordingly, amending the amounts further, the proposal made by Minister of Sustainable Development and Wildlife Gamini Jayawickrama Perera, to increase the compensation paid for human deaths and permanent disabilities from Rs. 200,000/- to Rs. 500,000/-, was approved by the Cabinet of Ministers.

During the past 12 years, an estimated 1,464 elephants have been killed, while 672 persons have lost their lives in elephant attacks.

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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

11 hour operation to detach trunk from tusk

A tusker whose trunk had gotten stuck inside one of its tusks, rendering it unable to intake food for two days, was rescued by veterinary surgeons of the Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC). The elephant, a 25-year-old tusker by the name of 'Nandimitra,' is known to frequent the area of the Sithulpawwa Rajamaha Viharaya.

After receiving information that the tusker's trunk had been stuck inside one of its tusks, wildlife officers launched a two day search operation to locate the animal. They were finally able to locate 'Nandimitra' last evening. The trunk was finally detached from the tusk after an operation lasting 11 hours.

DWC officials say Nandimitra had attacked and damaged about 107 vehicles along the Sithulpawwa road, mainly due to pilgrims trying to feed the tusker.

According to the most recent DWC census conducted in 2011, there are just 120 tuskers left in the wild.

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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Bee keeping to prevent elephants encroaching villages in Hambantota

Hambantota District Secretary W.H. Karunarathna says that steps have been taken to set up bee colonies along the borders of forests to minimize wild elephants encroaching to villages in the district.

He said this project could help prevent wild elephant rampage in vulnerable villages to a certain extent.

Plans are afoot to set up bee colonies in Sooriyawewa as the village is constantly attacked by wild elephants.

District Secretary said this project will be expanded to other vulnerable areas later.

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Speeding truck kills elephant in Kenyan capital

A vehicle passes by a wild elephant on Colombo-Trincomalee road of Sri Lanka, April 4, 2016. (Xinhua/Gayan Sameera)

NAIROBI, Nov. 19 (Xinhua) -- A speeding truck hit and killed an elephant along a highway in the Kenyan capital Nairobi on Friday, the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) said.

KWS said the adult female elephant died from the accident along Nairobi-Mombasa highway in the early morning.

"KWS is saddened that in the early hours of this morning, an elephant died arising from a hit by a canter lorry at Kanga station area of the park along Mombasa-Nairobi highway," the organization said in a statement.

The statement said the three people travelling in the lorry were reported to have sustained minor injuries while the lorry heading for the port city of Mombasa had some damage.
The carcass of the animal has been removed from the road and the tusks have been recovered by the KWS for safe custody.

Police and the KWS have launched investigations into the incident.

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Sri Lankan elephant Kaavan donated to Pakistan affected by chill weather

The Dawn newspaper published in Pakistan reported that the elephant ‘Kaavan’ donated by Sri Lanka to Islamabad Zoo has been affected by the chilled weather developing in the winter.

The newspaper pointed out that the zoo authorities have not arranged a suitable environment for the elephant to spend winter.

It also reported that the mahout has failed to take control of the elephant.

Kaavan’s mate Saheli died in Marghzar zoo in 2012 and the death of the cow elephant drawn attention of wild life enthusiasts worldwide.

The newspapers further stated that requests have been made to zoo authorities to shift the elephant to suitable zoo and appoint a qualified mahout to look after it.

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Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Sri Lanka bans use of young elephants for work

Colombo - Sri Lanka unveiled tougher laws Wednesday, including a ban on using young elephants for logging and other physical work, as part of a crackdown on cruelty to domesticated wild animals.

Wildlife Minister Gamini Jayawickrama Perera said the cabinet approved new regulations imposing tough conditions on owners of elephants, which are considered sacred by Buddhists in Sri Lanka.

The animals are also legally protected but are often subjected to cruel treatment by some owners.

Under the new regulations seen by AFP, owners are banned from using working elephants below the age of 10 years while those under five years cannot be used in parades, even at religious festivals.

There are 41 new conditions aimed at ensuring minimum standards of care, including the daily diet that should include fresh fruit in addition to leaves and vegetables.

Owners must also take their elephants for daily walks of not less than five kilometres and the animals must be allowed two and a half hours for bathing.

The minister is also seeking to regulate the use of elephants in movie productions.
Baby elephants stolen

To read the full article, click on the story title

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Sri Lanka Cracks Down on Owners of Elephants Taken From Wild

Capturing wild elephants has been banned for decades here. Registration records indicate there should be only 127 elephants in captivity, most of them older. Yet they are a staple of the South Asian island nation's 400 or so yearly processions - traditional ceremonies honoring a marriage, calling for peace or praying for rain - and in each there are always a few young elephants clumsily cantering to keep up.

"In Sri Lanka, people measure the success of the processions by the number of elephants," said the Rev. Magalkande Sudantha, a Buddhist monk.

Despite concerns that the animals may be abused, spectators always expect a parade of elephants wearing jangling ornaments, and babies are a special attraction.

"There is no beauty in processions without elephants," said Janaka Alwis, a 48-year-old city council employee in Gampaha, north of Colombo. "People go to watch because of the elephants, and to count them.

To read the full article, click on the story title

Saturday, November 05, 2016

Wild elephants invade Ampara villages

Wild elephants damages are increasing in villages in Ampara.

It has been brought to the notice of the officials that wild elephants have found their way interior to the villages of Irakkamam, Ampara, Valathapiddy, Kuduvil, Dheegawappi, Nintavur, Pottuvil, Akkaraipattu, Addalaichenai, Kalmunai. The elephants have damaged paddy fields and other crops, home gardens.

The elephants enter villages and consume paddy stocks and household goods. Some elephants have entered Sambunagar and Meelath Nagar in the Addalaichenai Divisional Secretariat Division.(Daily News)

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800 km long electric fence around villages to keep wild elephants away

Colombo: Sri Lankan government has decided to build another 800 kilometers of electrical fence to prevent elephants from entering into villages.

According to the government, about 60-80 human lives and lives of more than 200 wild elephants are lost annually due to human -elephant and cost-effective electric fencing has been identified as the only viable solution and most productive measure to control this long-standing conflict in the country. -

About 3300 km long fences have been constructed so far in this regard. Construction of 275 km of fences are under way for 2016.

It has been planned to erect 800 km long fences in 2017 in seven wildlife zones according to a proposal made by Minister of Sustainable Development and Wildlife Gamini Jayawickrama Perera, and the Cabinet of ministers has granted approval to purchase required material for the project.

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Ailing elephant gives birth to male calf in Tamil Nadu

NK Tamil Nadu, Chennai , Oct. 25 : An ailing 45-year-old female elephant gave birth to a male calf in Tamil Nadu's Coimbatore city on Monday.

Forest officials and veterinarians were catering to the animal ever since she was spotted by villagers lying on a ground near a temple last Tuesday.

The animal's condition was not very encouraging as she kept lying on her side. In their bid to revive her, the doctors gave her vitamins and food to which it responded positively.

Later, she was shifted to the Chadivayal elephant camp for proper treatment.

Veterinarian Manoharan said the pachyderm had a normal delivery.

"Today morning around 4:30 a m, she delivered a male baby in lying posture, normal delivery. So probably, the strength, vitamins, minerals, all the support which we gave, gave her the strength to deliver a normal baby. So, now the mother is taking care," said Manoharan.

Manoharan added that they were checking on her health and giving her treatment.

It is believed that the elephant may have strayed from her herd.

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Baby elephant found tied to tree in Hambegamuwa

Residents and wildlife officials have released a baby elephant that was tied to a tree in Hambegamuwa area.

Residents who saw this elephant has informed the wildlife officials in the area.

It is believed that the baby elephant was to be transported to another place at night.

Police has commenced an investigation into the incident.

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Saturday, October 22, 2016

Gal-Oya residents reach out to Gammadda as elephants continue to wander

News 1st , which keeps it word and fulfills it promises to the people, visited the Gal-Oya Settlementon Friday.

News1st made a promise that the Gammadda 100 Day Initiative would look into the issue in Gal-Oya Settlement, which has been neglected by authorities over the years.

Upon arrival at the village this morning we heard of the tragic story.It has become a common sight in the area to see houses that were constructed to ensure the safety of it’s residents, being destroyed like mere toys.. The lone elephant, that was terrorising the area for days destroyed this house today, taking away their only assets, the harvested paddy.

The tussle with wild elephants has become a regular activity in the lives of these people, as the fence that was set up to protect them is malfunctioning.Not a single house had been spared by  wild elephants in this village. Similarly, not a single fruit tree too had been spared.

To read the full article, click on the story title

Elephant rushes into river to save drowning man

A short video out of Chaing Mai, Thailand showing an adorable young elephant "rescuing" a man in a river has gone viral after it was posted to Youtube.

Darrick Thompson, co-founder of the Save Elephant Foundation, was going for a dip in a river, and Kham Lha, one of the foundation's rescued baby elephants, was standing on the shore.

She mistook him calling out to her from the water as a cry for help and charged into the water to save him by offering her trunk.

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Sunday, October 09, 2016

Killing an elephant in Sri Lanka carries the death penalty

The Sri Lankan elephant population has fallen almost 65% since the turn of the 19th century. Today, the Sri Lanka elephant is protected under the Sri Lankan law and killing one carries the death penalty.

To read the full article, click on the story title

Saturday, October 08, 2016

2 killed by wild elephants in Galgamuwa and Thanthirimale

Six deaths have been reported due to various accidents that occurred in several parts of the island.

Reports indicated that the deaths have been caused by wild elephant attacks, motor accidents and drowning.

A 27 year old woman was killed early this morning at Kudagama area in Thanthirimale after being attacked by a wild elephant.

The two children of the victim, aged seven and three, were also admitted to the hospital in critical condition.

Reports indicated that the incident occurred after the wild elephant invaded a vegetable cultivation near the residence of the victim.

To read the full article, click on the story title

Friday, January 11, 2013

Relocating elephants fails to decrease human–wildlife conflict



Human-elephant conflict in Sri Lanka kills more than 70 humans and 200 Asian elephants every year. One of the most common tools in combating these conflicts is moving the elephants into ranges away from humans, often into national parks. This is done in hopes of avoiding problems that include elephants raiding crops, breaking into homes and injuring or killing people. But according to a new study to be published Dec. 7 in PLOS ONE by the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, the Centre for Conservation and Research in Sri Lanka and the Department of Wildlife Conservation Sri Lanka, moving problem elephants can actually lead to more conflict and more deaths of both humans and elephants.

To read the full article, click on the story title

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Lost in captivity

The baby elephant at the resort hotel in Bentota on July 13 was present to welcome guests. An animal lover visiting the hotel was aghast. For here was an animal that should still be in the wild or in a safe haven, instead entertaining tourists. But thankfully Sanju (as the animal’s current owner calls him) is no longer at work. No longer there: Baby Sanju at the hotel Bentota Beach Hotel General Manager Sanjeewa Perera said Sanju is about six years old and this was confirmed by Sanju’s current owner. The hotel had an elephant as a tourist attraction for about 30 years, usually leased, he said. To read this article in full, please click on the link at the top.

New measures to protect Pinnawala elephants

The death of a young elephant due to the cruelty of four workers at the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage has prompted authorities to introduce measures to ensure safety of the pachyderms. Among the new measures will be the installation of closed-circuit TV cameras that will monitor how elephants are looked after at the orphanage, a world famous tourist attraction.
Other measures, according to outgoing National Zoological Gardens Director Bashwara Gunaratne, include training for mahouts on the latest methods in animal care.

To read this story in full, please click on the link at the top.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Wild jumbos run amok in new habitats

Daily News
May 6, 2009

Wild elephants, that lived in the Buttala, Kataragama and Wellawaya areas in the Pahala Uva region of the Monaragala district have come to the forests off Ambarangala, Koslanda, Makaldeniya, Puunaagala and Seeriyabedda in the Haldummulla Divisional Secretariat of the Badulla district, say the Haldummulla public.

These jumbos have become a menace to the peasants of the villages in and around these forests.

Against this background, peasants in these villages have to live in fear of the wild elephants. Some of these elephants have dared to come to the villages even during the day time.

Occasionally, wild elephants could be seen in the town of Koslanda too, the Haldummulla public states.

Wild elephants in school playground

Palitha Ariyawansa, Daily Mirror
May 5, 2009

The school children, of the jungle area of Kandeketiya, got a surprise when they saw four wild jumbos frolicking in the school playground.
The elephants, noticing the children, had stopped playing and started running towards them. The frightened children ran helter-skelter and some ended up getting into a bus parked near the school and had stopped only after creeping under the seats.
According to the Divisional Secretary Gamini Mahindapala Jopeas, the children could come into the school only after the teachers and the elders of the village had managed to chase the elephants.

Why do elephants come back home?

Kumudini Hettiarachchi, Sunday Times

April 5, 2009
Human settlements have expanded and forests have been cleared, invariably leading to conflicts not only with elephants but other wild animals as well. As soon as there is a human-elephant conflict in some area, the traditional answer has been to “translocate” the elephant, uprooting it from its habitat and placing it in a new environment, with the expectation that it would settle down there and not cause conflict.

But is this the best answer, looking at it from both the human and elephant points of view? This is what the Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWLC) is trying to find out, after several instances where elephants translocated many km away have come back to their very own “gama” or home, like humans who keep going back to their ancestral villages.

Such “homecomings” have been easy to detect in recent times because some of the elephants have been “collared” by the DWLC in collaboration with the Centre for Conservation and Research.
The latest “walkabout”, however, has been by an elephant which is easily identifiable even without a radio collar as it is a majestic one-tusked adult male.

Tranquillized and captured in the Ehetuwewa divisional area in Galgamuwa on February 14 due to complaints by villagers that the elephant was creating trouble, it had been released at the Somawathiya National Park at midnight on February 15/16, 93.4 km. away in a direct line.

To read the full article click on the story title

Tussle over tusks

Wildlife conservationists raise concern over an Environment Ministry
decision to give away tusks collected at the Wildlife Conservation
Department
Malaka Rodrigo, The Sunday Times
April 19, 2009

During a voyage to Serendib, Sinbad the Sailor is said to have
discovered an ancient elephant graveyard, full of elephant tusks. That
maybe fictitious, but the Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC)’s
store today resembles a modern elephant graveyard as all the tusks
belonging to elephants who die in the wild are kept here.

To read the full article click on the story title

Human-elephant conflict intense

Sri Lanka Daily News
April 20, 2009

Wild elephants infiltrating from Lunugamvehera National Park to Kataragama area is frequently resulting in human-elephant conflicts.

The Lunugamvehera National Park authorities say this is due to damaged section of the electricity fence at Wilamba Wewa area where there is a conflict between the authorities and farmers over a tank a paddy fields inside the national park.

The farmers claim the ownership of the lands while the authorities say that they cannot be released to farmer as these lands are within the national park.

Because of this reason heavy elephant tolls have been reported to the wildlife authorities.

Tusks donation creates uproar

By Risidra Mendis, The Sunday Leader
April 12, 2009

A pair of tusks presented to President Mahinda Rajapakse by Environment Minister Champika Ranawaka has created an uproar among environmentalists.

The presentation of the tusks to President Mahinda Rajapakse at Temple Trees two weeks ago though not illegal has been criticised by environmentalists and the public, who feel that the Minister should set an example to the public by not making such presentations.

Speaking to The Sunday Leader environmentalists said even though there are special provisions for the head of state, ministers and the wildlife director to present a pair of tusks with an authorised permit, the Minister should set an example to the public by not making announcements when presenting tusks to the President.

"The elephant population is rapidly decreasing in the country. According to recent surveys the elephant human conflict and killing these animals for their tusks are the main reasons for their dwindling population. A large number of elephants were killed during the recent past and their tusks used for decorative accessories in the country. At a time when animal welfare activists and environmentalists are fighting to save the dwindling elephant population in the country the Environment Minister is presenting a pair of tusks to the President," environmentalists said, requesting anonymity in view of the fact that the tusks had been donated to the President.

To read the full article click on the story title

Wild elephant threats increase

Daily News
March 22, 2009

The threats of wild elephants are increasing day by day causing immense hardships to farmers, Sports Minister Bandula Basnayake said at Galgamuwa Divisional Secretariat office recently.

The Wildlife Conservation Department has not taken any action about this pathetic situation, he alleged.

He pointed out to the officers present at the conference that under this situation, a number of houses were destroyed as well as chena cultivations around Galgamuwa area.

It has been found that the largest number of deaths and casualties in the human-elephant conflict are reported from the North Western Province. He said people are concerned about these problem in Wayamba.

They were not worried about the dwindling elephant population.

To read the full article click on the story title

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Elephant conservation to be improved

Official Government News Portal of Sri Lanka
Press Release
23 January 2009

The Government has taken a number of measures to improve elephant conservation. The elephant population which was only 1,967 in 1993 has increased up to 5,350 in 2008, Minister of Environment and Natural Resources Patali Champika Ranawaka said at the Parliament yesterday (22).

The Ministry launching the Gajamithuro program, expects to protect the elephant population of the country, he said.

The Minister stated that Gajamithuro Coordination Centres have been established in Hambantota, Giritale, Ritigala, Thanamalwila, Koslanda, Kurunegala, Minipe, Walapane, Ampara, Valachchenai, Udawalawa and Vavuniya to protect wild elephants across the country.

A new elephant orphanage in Ritigala will be set up this year to protect baby elephants.
Twenty five elephant rehabilitation centres will also be set up islandwide. Two centres in Ritigala and Wasgamuwa are scheduled to be opened this year, the Minister added.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Wild life experts lock horns over baby elephant transfers

Kumudini Hettiarachchi, Sunday Times
January 1, 2009

As controversy surrounded preparations to transfer two “babies” from the Elephant Transit Home (ETH) at Uda Walawe to the Pinnawela Orphanage, opinion among activists was divided whether this was a good or bad move.

“We are hoping to move ‘Atlas’ and another baby elephant from ETH to Pinnawela on Sunday (today) or this week,” said W.A.D.A. Wijesooriya, Director-General of the Department of Wild Life Conservation (DWLC), when contacted by The Sunday Times.

The Sunday Times reliably learns that the transfer of baby elephants will take place today. (January 11)
When asked whether the transfer was to ensure that foreign tourists could see babies being bottle-fed milk at Pinnawela as alleged by conservationists, the Director-General was quick to reject it, saying that the ETH was overcrowded. “Whereas there should only be about 20-25 elephants there, we have about 35,” he said.

For the full story click on the title of the article

Electric fences to avoid human - elephant conflict

Mohammed Naalir, Daily News
January 15, 2009

Plans are afoot to erect electric fences surrounding the forests where elephants roam frequently considering the safety of villages while establishing a typical environment to elephants, North Western Province Wild Life Director Manjula Amararatne said.

He said that this project will be implemented in three stages and electric fences will be erected surrounding the forests in Anuradhapura, Kekirawa and Galoya areas, where the threat from wild elephants is high.

Amararatne said that due to attacks by elephants several persons were killed. Also a large number of elephants were killed by the villagers for various reasons. He expressed confidence that these measures will help to protect the human lives as well as the lives of elephants. A considerable sum has been set aside for this purpose, Amararatne added.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Wildlife Dept expedites payments to victims of elephant attacks

S.M. Wijayaratne Kurunegala, Daily News

November 18, 2008

The Department of Wildlife has now decided to pay compensation to all people who are victims of wild elephant attacks.

Earlier, victims of wild elephant attacks had to wait for years to get compensation, but now the department has planned to pay compensation within two or three months.

The Director of North Western Wildlife Zone Manjula Amararatne told the Daily News that if a householder faces death due to a wild elephant attack the dependants of that family will be entitled to Rs. 100,000 as compensation. A member of any family who faces death due to a wild elephant attack will get Rs. 75,000.

If a householder becomes totally in capacitated for life due to an attack of elephants he will get Rs. 100,000 as compensation.

Amararatne

Wild elephants destroy Kandaketiya crops

Daily Mirror
November 17, 2008

A group of wild elephants who escaped from the Randenigala reserve forest have destroyed a large number of crops in the adjoining villages of Kandaketiya, Kirivehera area last week, terrorising the local people in the area.
C. de Silva, a resident of the area said there were three wild elephants roaming the village and the fear of elephants had made the local people to remain sleepless at night.
“It was after a long time the elephants came back to the village. They destroyed a large amount of acres of paddy this time. They roam around the villages not allowing any person to step outside their houses even at daytime.
We remain awake ready with our fireplaces to be lighted as security measures. The villagers have become hopeless because all their crops have been destroyed,” he said.

For the full article click on the story title

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Humans and elephants on collision course in South Asia

World Wildlife Fund
17 Nov 2008

Kathmandu, Nepal: Massive international investment in large-scale infrastructure projects in southern Asia will increase human-elephant conflict and cause more deaths on both sides unless much greater care is taken.

A new report released today, funded by the World Bank as part of the World Bank-WWF Alliance for Forest Conservation & Sustainable Use, warns international investors that a clear strategy for keeping human-elephant conflict under control makes economic as well as environmental sense.

It is estimated that the economic damage caused by human-elephant conflict amounts to millions of dollars in some countries and in many cases it is those responsible for new land developments that have to foot the bill.

“Billions of dollars lined up for regional and national level infrastructural investments such as the Trans-Asian highway project and various hydro-power and irrigation projects are going to significantly increase human-elephant conflict across Asia,” said Christy Williams, Coordinator of WWF’s Asian elephant and rhino conservation program.

“Banks and investors need to show leadership when it comes to human-elephant conflict by adding mitigation options into their large infrastructure plans in places where elephants are found from the beginning.”

Human-animal conflict is exacerbated whenever land where the animals traditionally find food and living space is taken away as human population and aspiration increases. In this situation elephants frequently raid crop fields and break down houses to get at stored crops.

Chance encounters between elephants and people, as well as efforts of people to guard against elephants, result in injury and death of humans. Harmful methods employed by people in the process result in death and injury of elephants, thereby escalating the conflict.

The report – Review of Human-Elephant Conflict Mitigation Measures Practised in South Asia – was compiled by WWF-Nepal, the Centre for Conservation and Research Sri Lanka (CCR) and the Nature Conservation Foundation.

It analyses case by case the methods local people are using to keep elephants away from their houses and finds that, in order to reduce the many costs of human-elephant conflict, a strategy that explains the most effective ways to mitigate the conflict is urgently needed.

The report notes that a comprehensive strategy could help investors planning infrastructure projects in south Asia to include human-elephant conflict mitigation options from the beginning, which would lead to both economic and conservation gains.

"Most mitigation measures currently being used are just akin to bandaging the wounds and not treating the root cause,” said Prithiviraj Fernando, chairman of CCR-Sri Lanka. “Good land-use planning that takes both people and elephant needs into account is the only long-term solution.”

See report, Review of Human-Elephant Conflict Mitigation Measures Practised in South Asia [pdf, 1.69 MB] by clicking on the blog title

Wildlife Dept expedites payments to victims of elephant attacks

S.M. Wijayaratne Kurunegala, Daily News

November 18, 2008

The Department of Wildlife has now decided to pay compensation to all people who are victims of wild elephant attacks.

Earlier, victims of wild elephant attacks had to wait for years to get compensation, but now the department has planned to pay compensation within two or three months.

The Director of North Western Wildlife Zone Manjula Amararatne told the Daily News that if a householder faces death due to a wild elephant attack the dependants of that family will be entitled to Rs. 100,000 as compensation. A member of any family who faces death due to a wild elephant attack will get Rs. 75,000.

If a householder becomes totally in capacitated for life due to an attack of elephants he will get Rs. 100,000 as compensation.

Amararatne added that the Government has already drafted a policy to save elephants and to minimise elephant human conflict in the future.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Wild elephants destroy Kandaketiya crops

Daily Mirror
November 17, 2008

A group of wild elephants who escaped from the Randenigala reserve forest have destroyed a large number of crops in the adjoining villages of Kandaketiya, Kirivehera area last week, terrorising the local people in the area.
C. de Silva, a resident of the area said there were three wild elephants roaming the village and the fear of elephants had made the local people to remain sleepless at night.
“It was after a long time the elephants came back to the village. They destroyed a large amount of acres of paddy this time. They roam around the villages not allowing any person to step outside their houses even at daytime.
We remain awake ready with our fireplaces to be lighted as security measures. The villagers have become hopeless because all their crops have been destroyed,” he said.

For the full article click on the story title

Monday, November 10, 2008

Elephantine misconceptions

From human-elephant conflict to human-elephant coexistence:
Sajitha PREMATUNGE, Sunday Observer
November 2, 2008

People and elephants have lived in harmony for nearly thousand years. So why have reports on human-elephant conflict escalated as of late?

With the liberation of the East, as more protected areas have become accessible and with the increased man power the records of conflicts have invariably increased, coupled with the undue publicity given by some media to such unfortunate confrontations giving the false impression that conflicts have increased in number.

Although there undoubtedly may be an increase in the number of incidents, there are many misconceptions about our gentle giants.
Apart from the irresponsible conduct of some media in providing unnecessary publicity to incidents of human-elephant, Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, Patali Champika Ranawaka identifies that, increased number of recorded elephant deaths due to the increase of vet surgeons, gives the false impression that conflicts have escalated.

“New counts in newly liberated areas like Batticaloa have helped to increase the numbers. But that doesn’t mean that the human elephant conflict has escalated. This has happened in these very same areas before, it’s just that nobody was there to record them.”

To read the full article click on the story title

Agro-wells: death traps for elephants

The Island
November 3, 2008

Recently the issue of unprotected agro-wells into which elephants frequently fall and die unless rescued in time, has come into sharp focus. Elephants, particularly in the Kalawewa area of the NCP, which has a large number of agro-wells, come into villages to feed on cultivations and frequently fall into these wells. Yet, successive Directors of the Department of Wildlife Conservation and Ministers have paid little or no attention to this problem, allowing elephants and young calves to continue to suffer a cruel fate. The present Minister, on assuming office, showed his concern for fauna and flora, by saying that in Sri Lanka not only people but the environment too was faced with violence. However, there seems to be a big gap between sentiment and action because with regard to the danger to elephants from open agro-wells, it has taken him three years to turn his attention to this problem.

In a recent incident at Kekirawa, a man was killed by a she elephant rescued from an agro-well into which she and her calf had fallen. TV viewers watched in horror how, getting out of the well, the mother elephant chased after the man and catching up with him, trampled and killed him. Apparently the mother elephant was enraged and agitated by the large and noisy crowd of people gathered there, fearing they would harm her calf.

To read the full article click on the story title

Friday, October 24, 2008

Elephant protection societies mooted to minimise human-elephant conflict

Sri Lanka Daily News
October 11, 2008

The Wildlife Conservation Department has planned to form 'Elephant Protection Societies' in the North Western wildlife preservation zone for minimising the elephant-human conflict.

Assistant Director in charge of the North Western Zone Manjula Amararatne which consist of five districts such as Mannar, Puttalam, Vavuniya, Anuradhapura and Kurunegala, said that villagers who live in areas where elephant invasions are rampant will be trained in strategical methodologies that could be practised in driving the elephant herds to forest reserves, without causing harm to them. Referring to the distribution of elephant crackers he said that in villages threatened by wild elephants, all villagers can apply for crackers.

When elephants enter the villages the limitless, aimless and unsystematic firing of ali wedi here and there agitate the jumbos and they start to play havoc in the locality in which the folks get injured or killed and their properties including cultivations devastated, the Assistant Director pointed out. Hence the Elephant Protection Societies are being established, he said to further curtail the damages.

He said that the monthly quota of ali wedi to the zone is 9,000 but the demands exceeds 20,000 each month. Through this concept of Elephant Protection Societies both waste and the unwarranted usage of ali wedi could be reduced thus minimising the danger.

Amararatne said that in the Kurunegala and Puttalam divisions, due to the scarcity of forest cover and reservations, elephants and people are compelled to live adjacently thus jeopardising the existence of both.

To read the full article click on the story title

Sri Lanka rescues five wild elephants during the last 5 days

ColomboPage
October 6, 2008

Oct 06, Colombo: Despite the conflict between the two species Sri Lankans have managed to rescue the lives of five wild elephants fallen into agriculture wells in Kekirawa of the North Central Province during the last 3 days.

According to Wildlife Department, during a rescue operation that took place on October 3rd to remove two elephant calves and a female elephant, an onlooker was attacked by the female elephant and later succumbed to his injuries.

However, another female elephant died before being rescued on October 4th even though her calf was rescued.

Meanwhile an elephant and a calf fallen into an agriculture well on October 5th was taken out by using an earth moving machine.

Sri Lanka hopes elephants can revive tourism trade

Agence France Presse
October 6. 2008

MINNERIYA, Sri Lanka (AFP) — Asian elephants are renowned as highly social animals and the reservoir meetings demonstrate their complex group dynamics in action.
As evening falls, a female elephant and her pink-skinned baby emerge from the jungle for a leafy snack around an ancient artificial lake in Sri Lanka.

They are just two of hundreds of wild elephants that gather each evening along the banks of the Minneriya reservoir for food, water, shelter -- and match-making.
From July to October, "The Gathering" -- as it is known -- gives humans the chance to observe the elephants feasting and frolicking on the water's edge.

Mothers encourage their off-spring towards the water, making sure that no calf is left stranded. Young males use their trunks to wrestle each other, while adult bulls sniff the air to scent fertile females.

Tucked away in the island's north central province, Minneriya provides an ideal venue for hungry elephants during the dry season when waterholes in the forests evaporate into cracked mud patches

To read the full article click on the story title

The Fall of Ravana

By Malaka Rodrigo, Sunday Times
October 5, 2008

Among the many elephant deaths we hear of, this was particularly shocking. Not only because it was a majestic tusker being monitored through a satellite collar, but also because it was killed inside a national park.

Ravana died on August 25 in a muddy water hole inside Lunugamvehera National Park, from infected gunshot wounds. The post-mortem revealed that the jumbo– named after the powerful king of ancient Sri Lanka – was starving at the time of death - the wound on its cheek preventing it from taking food in its last days.

The Lunugamvehera park was supposed to have been a sanctuary for the animal which was translocated there last December. It had initially been moved to Uda Walawe National Park in September 2007 after crop-raiding in its home grounds of Anuradhapura and was radio-collared by elephant expert Dr. Prithiviraj Fernando before release in the park. But soon, it tried to make its way back leaving a trail of destruction in the villages of Aluthwewa, Handapanagala and Buttala. One man was killed and an elderly villager was saved only after a constable shot the elephant in its foot.

To read the full article click on the story title

Rescued Elephants Run Amok, Kill Saviour in Sri Lanka

Thaindian.com
October 4th, 2008

Colombo, Oct 4 (IANS) An elephant that had fallen into a jungle well with her calf and was rescued by villagers in Anuradhapura district of Sri Lanka ran amok and killed one of the saviours in the presence of helpless police and wildlife authorities.The incident occurred Friday at Kirirawa village in the north-central district of Anuradhapura, about 200 km from here.
“As they came out of the well, the elephants started chasing the villagers. The baby jumbo calmed down in a short while, but the cow elephant kept chasing a group of villagers and trampled one of them to death,” A. Bandara, a local reporter in Anuradhapura, told IANS over the phone.

Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Ranjith Gunasekara said a police team along with wildlife authorities rushed to the scene and helped the villagers rescue the elephants from the well.

However, he said it was unfortunate that the police team could not rescue the villager who was trampled by the cow elephant.

The situation turned ugly when angry villagers attacked the police team for not killing the elephant and saving the life of the villager.

“A police sergeant assaulted by the villagers was admitted to the hospital. We have arrested a villager for assaulting policemen,” Gunasekara said.

To read the full article click on the story title

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Who sanctioned the rape of a sanctuary?

Kumudini Hettiarachchi, Sunday Times
September 28, 2008

Absolute stillness, the stillness of the jungle, accentuated only by the call of birds from the lotus-studded wewa. Suddenly a humming and whining begin, shattering the stillness. A bulldozer is at work………up and down, leaving a large swathe of land cleared of everything.

What is left is only a trail of destruction – giant trees such as weera and myla on their sides, the scrub jungle no more and the tall grasses cleared. Some of the trees and shrubs have been set ablaze, with patches of areas still smouldering.

This is the fate, since Monday, of part of the Dahaiyagala sanctuary and animal corridor, covering about 2,685 ha, on the northern border of the Uda Walawe National Park, in clear violation of the large green boards of the Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWLC).

To read the full article click on the story title

Is the Wild Life Department protecting its property or giving it away?

Kamini Meedeniya Vitarana, The Island
September 29, 2008

On Monday the 22nd September 2008, about a hundred or more people came with axes knives and other cutting instruments and proceeded to cut trees in what is known as the Dahaiyyagala Elephant Corridor which is situated on the north east of the Uda Walawe National park. This corridor runs through this sanctuary of Dahaiyygala to the mineral and salt deposits found in the proposed Bogahapattiya Sanctuary north of Veli Oya and was declared so by gazette notification on June 07 2002. gazette number 1239/28

What the invaders were trying to do is to close this corridor by building a fence across it and so preventing the elephants from going to Bogahapattiya . This will create a huge human elephant conflict as enraged elephants try to go to their source of salt and minerals through other land cultivated by human beings.

To read the full article click on the story title

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Update of the Uttarakhand Elephant Project from Dr Santosh Kumar Sahoo

Currently, I work on a USFWS-sponsored project on Human-elephant Conflict (HEC) issues in Uttarakhand, India. I focus on Mapping the HEC areas in the Shiwalik Elephant corridor in Uttarakhand and working with the communities on HEC mitigation strategies. At the present stage of the work It has been possible to gather significant amount of authentic information about the ground truth of HEC issue and the related problems associated with it across the elephant ranging areas spreading from the north western limit of the elephant range in Dehradun up to the Kilpura-Surai corrodor bordering Nepal in the eastern end of the Uttarakhand state. The problem of HEC in all the forest divisions in the Shivalik
Elephant Corridor not only concentrates in the fringe villages, but also its impact is seen inside many reserves where on many occasions either elephants have killed human beings or humans have killed elephants. The threats to elephant population in Uttarakhand are many but practical conservation efforts to save the elephants are NIL. The impact of habitat fragmentation in several parts of nearly 450 kilometer-long elephant corridor in Uttarakhand is so grave that growing incidences of HEC problem in recent months may give rise to greater community dissension in future over elephant related crop loss, human fatality and property loss unless a strategic plan for a community-friendly HEC mitigation and elephant corridor landscape management is implemented. Some of my critical observations on the HEC as well as elephant conservation issues in Uttarakhand are listed below:

1. In Uttarakhand state, the govt. considers HEC issue as one of the routine human-wiildlife conflicts and is trying to minimize it through a provision of a meagre ex-gratia comensation payment to the identified HEC-affected villagers, and by erecting solar powered electric fence at some locations along the fringes of the reserves. As of today, all these solar powered fencing lines are lying dead except at two locations- at Chhiderwala in Dehradun FD and at Jhilmill Jheel Conservation Unit in Haridwar FD. At Chhiderwala, it functions partially but with high risks of getting damaged unless new batteries are installed while at Jhillmill Jheel Conservation Unit, the fence encloses the Unit office premises.

2. The Solar powered electric fencing, as reported by most HEC affected villagers, could have been a success as an effective elephant detterent to minimize the HEC incidences, had there been proper line of maintainance activities under the care of trained personnel either from the communities or from the forest department staff. But unfortunately this remains to be a neglected part of the solar fencing plan of the govt and at most of my HEC survey sites communities openly accuse the state govt for ignoring the local communities before handing over the solar fencing responsibility to one solar fencing manufacturing company from Banglore. There is still a tussle between the forest department and local communities over the solar fencing mismanagement issue

3. Elephant related human deaths are on rise in Uttarakhand. During my current elephant project work, 8 people have been killed by elephants in different parts of the project area.

4. Elephant deaths are also on rise in Uttarakhand. During the last 11 months of this elephant work, we got reports of five tuskers being killed in different parts of the project area.. The major cause of these deaths was HEC related like electricution, poisoning and shooting. From the Govt record, there has been reports of 128 elephant deaths 34 tiger deaths in the last eight years in Uttarakhand.As many as, 20 elephants have been killed in the last eight years only in the Haridwar Forest Division. The Six-Kilometer long busy express highway in the Chilla-Motichur elephant corridor has been a major fragmented site blocking seasonal migration of the elephants. I believe this is one major reason why elephants from the Haridwar FD remain round the year at one or two locations, mainly in the Shympur range increasing chances of more HEC related incidences.

6. There was no elephant awareness programme by any agency in any village among any people in the whole elephant range areas in Uttarakhand. Through the current FWS sposored elephant project it was possible for the first time to reach nearly all villages in the HEC range areas with elephant conservation and HEC mitigation messages for the communities. HEC affected villagers appreciate the initiatives taken under the current elephant project to educate the villagers about the elephants and their conservation
issue in Uttarakhand and other habitats in Asia.

7. The communities strongly need a lasting solution to the growing HEC problems. They show interest to get involved in the HEC mitigation strategy, through a coordinated community-based training programme for capacity building, sustainable livilihood, and crop protection measures.

8. Grassroots level forest staffs (rangers, foresters and forest foresters) demand for a regular training on sensitive issues focusing on elephant conservation, elephant coridor landscape management, HEC mitigation. These staff need to strenghtened through elephant conservation stewardship and capacity building training in the field situation to handle the challenging field work in the elephant habitat.