Sunday, June 10, 2018

Sri Lanka elephants face plastic danger foraging dumps for food

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

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

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

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

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

Thai villager killed by wild elephants

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Two Sri Lankan elephants to grace Safari Park

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Two arrested in Matara with Elephant Pearls

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

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

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

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Friday, June 08, 2018

Cow elephant and calf rescued in Suriyawewa

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

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

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

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Electric fence not an obstruction to the Elephants

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

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

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

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

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

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Captain arrested over electrocution of tusker (Pics)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Sunday, May 20, 2018

The sad fate of our majestic elephants

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Sri Lanka elephants face plastic danger foraging dumps for food

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Thursday, May 10, 2018

Operation launched to catch rogue elephant inside Ridiyagama Safari Park

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Elephant pearl traders nabbed with decoy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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On Safari in Sri Lanka, See Hundreds of Elephants

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

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

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

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Elephant found dead in Anuradhapura

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

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

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

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

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69 kilos of Kerala cannabis detected in Vavuniya

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

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

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

They will be produced before Vavuniya Magistrate Court today.

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

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

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Hoof and mouth disease outbreak among elephants in national parks

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

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

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

Caretakers too, confirm this.

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Elephant race in Homagama

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

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Mother kills infant before ending her life

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

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

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Monday, April 23, 2018

Tusker ‘Missaka’ dies from sepsis

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

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

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

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

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

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Wild elephant antics and broken tusks

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

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

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Thursday, April 19, 2018

Baby elephant rescued from a well by villagers in Sri Lankan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Wildlife officer critically injured in elephant attack

Wildlife officer critically injured in elephant attack....

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Wild elephant herd chased away in Samanthurai (Photos)

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

The herd included 6 wild elephants.

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

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Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Villagers unable to protect harvest from wild elephants

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Sunday, April 08, 2018

Elephant calf rescued from waterhole (Pics)

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

The elephant calf was rescued on April 03.

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

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

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

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

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Wild elephant attack kills a woman in Welikanda

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Friday, March 30, 2018

Farmer killed in wild elephant attack

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

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

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

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Monday, March 26, 2018

Wild elephant electrocuted (Photos)

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

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

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

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

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Injured Elephant Paraded For Temple Festival In Kakkanad| Mathrubhumi News

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

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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

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

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

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Tamed elephant to be given for religious activities

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

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

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

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

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Kataragama elephant goes on rampage

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

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

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

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Veggies trashed and thrown to jumbos

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

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

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

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

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Father of three dead due to an elephant attack in Maradanakada

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Stranded elephant rescued from well in Sri Lanka – BBC News

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Elephants charge after safari jeeps.

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

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Friday, March 16, 2018

Temple tusker attacks Prof. Wimalarathana Thera

Bellanwila Wimalarathana Thera attacked by a temple tusker

Venerable Prof. Bellanwila Wimalarathana Thera has been attacked by a temple elephant and is now admitted to the Intensive Care Unit of Kalubowila Hospital.
The incident has occurred this morning when the Thera was serving food to 'Miyan Kumara' a tamed elephant at the temple.
Later, the Thera was taken to Kalubowila Hospital and now the Thera is receiving treatment at the ICU.
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Sri Lankans mourn Buddhist monk who dies after elephant attack

Venerable Bellanwila Wimalarathana Thera worked hard to build interreligious harmony

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Sri Lanka police lose gun as elephants charge

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

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

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

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

About 50 people are killed in wild elephant attacks annually.

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

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Thursday, February 08, 2018

Sri Lanka elephant kills top Buddhist monk

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Sunday, January 28, 2018

Wild elephants destroy cultivations in Kekirawa

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

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

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

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Saturday, January 27, 2018

Wildlife Ministry to take tough action against elephant hunters

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

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

Four tuskers were killed in the recent past.

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

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

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Friday, January 19, 2018


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Dalaputtuwa killing: Two Grama Niladharies arrested

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Friday, December 29, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Thursday, December 28, 2017

Another tusker found dead in Puttalam

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

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

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

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

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

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Elephant and calf rescued after falling into ditch near Mattala Airport

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

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

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Ballistic Shockwave Sensors For Wild Elephants

The Government has drawn its attention to replacing the existing GPS collars with ballistic shock sensors to identify wild elephants.

Several environmental activists’ organizations met Wildlife Minister Gamini Jayawickrama Perera yesterday (05) to discuss the killing of the tusker, Galgamuwe Dala Poottuwa and other issues with regard to wild elephants.

The environmental activist, Shashikalana Ratwatta told our news team that they decided to x
40 ballistic shock sensor collars to wild elephants under the rest phase of the programme.

Meanwhile, police arrested 3 suspects with 3 elephant pearls in their possession at Palukandawa in Galgamuwa yesterday (05).

The seized elephant pearls are believed to have been extracted from the slain tusker, Galgamuwe Dala Poottuwa.

The suspects who have been arrested on a tip-off, are residents of Galgamuwa.

Earlier, 10 suspects were arrested in connection with the killing of the tusker.

Several elephant pearls and a few ivory pendants believed to have been made of the tusks of the slain wild elephant were also seized by the police thereafter.

In addition, CID is continuing investigations to arrest few more suspects linked to the killing of the tusker.

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Thursday, December 14, 2017

Five arrested over elephant killing in Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan police have arrested five men for allegedly killing a wild elephant, with officers seizing ivory and tusk-cutting tools, officials said Friday.

Villagers in the island’s northwest had alerted wildlife authorities after a popular local elephant called “Dala Poottuwa”, or crossed tusker, disappeared.

Its carcass was later found with a bullet wound in the skull.

Authorities broke up what they say is a poaching network as part of their investigation, charging five men with killing the elephant.

“They had in their possession several tools used to cut tusks (and) two ivory pendants,” said police spokesman Ruwan Gunasekera.

Elephants are protected under Sri Lankan law and poachers can face the death penalty for killing one.
Tusked elephants are rare in Sri Lanka, accounting for less than five per cent of the island’s estimated elephant population of around 6000.

That figure has declined from the last official census of the island’s elephants, which identified more than 7300 animals.

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Another tusker shot dead at Karuwalagaswewa

Not many days after the killing of the well-known tusker, the Dala Poottuwa and the arrest of five suspects in this connection; five more suspects were arrested on charges of having shot dead another tusker in Karuwalagaswewa.

Its body was found near the Thabbowa reservoir in Karuwalagaswewa on Wednesday morning.

The Puttalam Wildlife Conservation Department Assistant Director W.M.K.S. Chandraratne said Veterinary Surgeon Chandana Jayasinghe who carried out the postmortem examination had in his report identified the elephant's death was caused by gunshot injuries to its liver and the resultant internal bleeding.

Villagers said the 18-year-old elephant with with its four-foot pair of tusks was not often seen outside the jungle area it inhabited.

The tusks were taken into custody by the wildlife department.

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Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Villagers detain a group of wildlife officers in Galewela

It is reported that 15 Wildlife officers have been detained by villagers at Dandubandiruppa in Galewela.

Our correspondent stated that the wildlife officers were detained forcing them to further continue the ongoing elephant chasing operation.

The operation has been suspended after elephant crackers have run short.

However, the villagers have detained until the officers restart the operation.

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Thursday, November 23, 2017

Woman dies in wild elephant attack

A 22-year-old mother of one was killed in a wild elephant attack in Welikanda in Polonnaruwa.The attack had taken place this afternoon while the woman was in her garden.

Police said she was admitted to Welikanda Hospital with critical injuries and later succumbed to her injuries.

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Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Elephant attacks luxury bus travelled by Dambulla Acting Magistrate and his family

A wild elephant that was used to grab food from pilgrims visiting the Sithulpavva Temple in Tissamaharamaya, has taken a luxury bus occupied by Dambulla Acting Magistrate and family, into its custody.

One of the occupants of the bus had recorded the moment using his mobile phone.

They encountered this fearful moment when they were travelling towards Sithulpavva Temple, after worshiping Kataragama.

The tusker first walked towards the bus in search of food and as it was not served with food, the angry elephant has smashed the glass panel of the door and had put his trunk inside the bus.

Then he had threatened the occupants by thrusting its head on the bus.

However, the elephant has walked away only after it was offered food.

This elephant is popular as "Kappan Raaju".

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Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Council approves new $1.6m elephant despite Sri Lankan court hold up

The only thing stopping Auckland from getting a third elephant is a court case in Sri Lanka.

In May 2011 Auckland Council approved $3.2m to transport two gifted elephants from Sri Lanka to New Zealand.

Anjalee joined veteran elephant Burma at Auckland Zoo in 2015.

Before arriving to New Zealand in 2015, Anjalee spent three months quarantined in Niue.

But protests from animal rights activists and cultural and religious groups in Sri Lanka stopped second elephant Nandi from leaving Sri Lanka for New Zealand.

During the 2017/2018 Annual Plan process council allocated only $1.1m for the relocation of the second elephant instead of the $1.6m required, due to an oversight.

At Auckland Council's finance and performance committee meeting on Tuesday, 15 councillors approved a correction of $549,000 to the $1.6 million needed to move Nandi to New Zealand.

A hearing about whether Nandi can be moved to New Zealand is underway after campaigners in Sri Lanka petitioned the Sri Lankan Court of Appeal.

At the committee meeting, Auckland Zoo deputy director Kevin Burley said the court case in Sri Lanka was not about Nandi specifically, but rather the gifting of elephants as a whole. 

Anjalee had thrived under the zoo's care and he thought Nandi would thrive also, Burley said.

Councillors Cathy Casey, Efeso Collins, Mike Lee, Wayne Walker and John Watson voted against the decision.

"It's a lot of money to transport an exotic, endangered animal from one part of the world to this part of the world," Casey said.

"Two elephants are enough."

$1.6m could go a long way for community groups and the council's homelessness programme, she said.

Collins said he was voting against the correction because $549,000 could be used to double council's commitment to homelessness.

"We would pay the Christmas parades in Ōtara, Papatoetoe, Otahuhu and Māngere for 15 years with half a million dollars," Collins said.

"We could fly around civil servants of this council business class with half a million dollars."

Regional facilities Auckland board external relations director Paul Brewer said it was delighted at the correction of $549,000.

"There was good robust debate," Brewer said.

If the court in Sri Lanka ruled in its favour, getting Nandi to New Zealand would be quickly underway, he said.

A spokeswoman for Auckland Zoo said it was confident it could give Nandi an excellent home and life but her arrival was ultimately up to the Sri Lankan courts.

"If we subsequently hear definitively that she will have to stay at Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, then we will then explore what other options are for our elephant programme," the spokeswoman said.

SAFE campaign director Mandy Carter said Nandi had established her own family at the orphanage and an "artificial group" at Auckland Zoo could cause issues, she said.

Alongside the one-off cost of $3.2m for Anjalee and Nandi, there would be high ongoing costs of $100,000 each to look after three elephants at the zoo, Carter said.

Instead she thought the money could go to looking after native animals, she said.

Residents commented on community website Neighbourly about Auckland Council spending $1.6m on an elephant.

Remuera resident Zoe Spinks said having another elephant at the zoo would attract more visitors.

"I see this as an investment to bring more interest and funding toward conservation, including our own native species," Spinks said.

Grey Lynn resident Jo Ryan said she wondered what Auckland Council's perspective was on spending money on an elephant rather than safe and affordable housing.

"$1.6m could change the lives of many of those who are homeless," Ryan said.

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Sunday, October 29, 2017

Wild elephants storm villages in Thambuththegama

The human-elephant conflict is a large threat in certain rural areas of Sri Lanka. People – adults and children alike, very often lose their lives in this conflict.

The story is the same in the village of Pethiyagama, Thambuththegama. The residents of this village are inconvenienced daily by encroaching wild elephants.

On Monday, September 25, a group of wild elephants stormed the village and destroyed crops.

According to reports from the News 1st correspondent in the area, the wild elephants had been in the village from last afternoon until dawn today, September 26.

Following is a list of villages in Thambuthtegama which are facing the same problem;

Locals charge that the wild elephants have been encroaching their villages for months.

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Two wild elephants roaming the villages in southern Sri Lanka caught and released to national park

Sri Lankan wildlife authorities have finally managed to capture two young wild elephants roaming villages in the south for over a month after two days of struggling.

Wildlife officials captured the two elephants who had started their roaming spree from Sooriyaweva in Hambantota and come to Walasmulla and from there had arrived at Kuttigala in Embilipitiya area.

They have been damaging crops and wandering in the villages for over a month, the residents said.

The two elephants have been hanging around in the Kuttigala area since the 29th of last month becoming a threat to the residents. They were captured on Saturday (07 October) after a two-day operation following an order from the Embilipitiya court in response to a request made by the Kuttigala police.

The two animals had been captured following a joint operation conducted by officials of Udawalawe Eth-athurusevana, Hambantota Wildlife Conservation Department officials and Sri Lanka Army officials.

The two elephants were later released to the Udawalawe National Wildlife Park.

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Wildlife officials catch two wild elephants in Embilipitiya

Two elephants that had destroyed cultivated lands in Kuttigala, Embilipitiya were caught by the officials of the Hambantota Wildlife Office.The two wild elephants have been roaming in the surrounding villages for a month disrupting the day-to-day work of the villagers.

The elephants will be taken to Udawalawe Reserve.

Meanwhile, an injured wild elephant is reportedly roaming in Athimale, Moneragala for the last one week.

The wildlife officials have not yet attended to the animal.

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Saturday, October 28, 2017

Visiting Orphaned Baby Elephants at the Elephant Transit Home in Udawalawe, Sri Lanka

If it weren’t already completely and utterly obvious, I am obsessed with elephants. If you are also in love with these gentle giants, you need to visit Sri Lanka ASAP as it has one of the biggest populations of wild Asian elephants in the world. Over the years, measures to protect wildlife (and in particular, elephants) have continued to  improve in Sri Lanka, and a number of facilities have been created to ensure the survival and wellbeing of animals. One such facility is the Elephant Transit Home in Udawalawe, Sri Lanka. (“Udawalawe” may sound familiar to you as it is home to one of the most popular national parks in Sri Lanka.)

What is the Elephant Transit Home?

As the human population continues to grow in Sri Lanka, humans encroach on elephant natural habitat for farmland, gem mining, timber and even trafficking. Human-elephant conflict is a major threat to the survival of elephants in Sri Lanka, with many elephants being orphaned or lost: this is where Elephant Transit Home comes in. The elephant calves are taken in, nurtured and cared for back to health. The elephants are free to roam around and are never chained – Elephant Transit Home ensures that human contact is kept to a minimum in order to maximize their chance of survival when they are returned to the wild.

What sets Elephant Transit Home apart from other so-called “orphanages” is that elephants are returned to the wild so that they can re-integrate with wild herds once they turn five years old; according to the organization, more than 110 elephants have been returned back to the national parks around Sri Lanka. You can read more about the work Elephant Transit Home does here.

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Storm erupts over dead elephant

SKUKUZA – The carcass of an elephant lying in a pool of its own blood, was found outside Satara Rest Camp in the Kruger National Park early on Tuesday morning.

Some of its intestines were visible, but otherwise there were no signs of predators feasting on it.

The carcass was removed by park officials that hoisted it onto a truck and took into the veld for an autopsy. “This was a difficult task, since the ground was very wet due to the heavy thunderstorm earlier,” says Reynold Thakuli, general manager for media, public relations and stakeholder relations of SANParks.

Yesterday he confirmed that a team of veterinarians could only deduce that the animal had been struck by lightning, since no other possible causes for its death could be found.

While several news sites reassured readers that the elephant had died due to an act of nature, the guesswork on social media ranged from a muti killing to ivory poachers who had been disturbed before being able to remove the tusks, to being the work of predators.

The latter was questioned by commentators who assumed predators would feast on the intestines first, while others alleged that predators do not feed on animals struck by lightning. This phenomenon could not be confirmed, but a local vet conceded that predators might be deterred by a “typical chemical smell” after a lightning strike.

First reports that its genitals had been removed triggered suspicions about a muti killing, while holes that allegedly would confirm a lightning strike were apparently found when vets examined the carcass.

This led to more speculation on a SANParks Facebook group, with a doubting Thomas suggesting that the elephant must have been “lying with its belly up in the air” when struck. He was quickly informed that “lightning enters at the top and heads earthward through the body, possibly splitting along the way, causing multiple exit wounds and burns”.

Lowvelder received information that the elephant had been shot by officials since it was causing problems at the camp. This allegation was denied by Thakuli.

• Elephants killed by lightning are apparently not uncommon. A few websites, including, tell that a well-known American circus elephant called Pitt was killed in August 1943 in Montana when a sudden bolt of lightning knocked her down.  It also mentions Norma Jean, a 6 500-pound elephant of the Clark and Walters Circus struck and killed in 1972, with her trainer “knocked 30 feet by the blast”.

In 2008 an elephant owned by the Guruvayur Devaswom temple died after it was struck by lightning in Thrissur ( and in May last year, the Express Tribune reported that four elephants were killed by lightning in northern Sri Lanka.

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Helicopter Flies Closer To Elephant Herd In Kawdulla, Incident To Be Investigated

An investigation has commenced into the incident where a helicopter had own over the Kawudulla National Park to have a closer look at wild elephants.

The investigation will be conducted jointly by the Civil Aviation Authority and the Administration of the Kawudulla National Park.

The helicopter has own quite close to a herd of wild elephants in Kawudulla National Park last Friday (13) agitating the herd. The provoked elephants had chased away visitors who were in the park at the time.

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Sri Lanka bans open garbage dumping to protect elephants

Authorities in Sri Lanka on Wednesday banned the open dumping of garbage near wildlife sanctuaries to discourage elephants from foraging for rotting food scraps and risking their lives.

As an immediate measure, the cabinet ordered that electric fences be erected around more than 50 dumps near elephant habitats to keep the roaming beasts away.

"Around 300 wild elephants are hanging around them (dumps)," the government said in a statement.

"When elephants consume bacteria-infested waste... it shortens their lifespan."

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 government said an unspecified number of elephants had died after ingesting polythene sheeting - in landfill sites, adding wild herds were increasingly relying on garbage dumps for food.

Elephants are venerated in Buddhism, the majority religion in Sri Lanka, and are protected by law.

The wild elephant population in Sri Lanka is estimated at about 7,500, with another 200 domestic beasts.

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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

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

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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.

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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.

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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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