By Kelum Bandara, Daily Mirror
September 20, 2008
Despite the worsening of human-elephant conflict which has claimed the lives of both species, the elephant population has drastically increased from 673 in 1993 to 2423 this year in the Mahaweli areas of the country.
Environment and Natural Resources Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka made this observation yesterday while referring to a report of the census conducted covering the Mahaweli areas of Trincomalee, Polonnaruwa, Matale, Badulla and Ampara.
Addressing a ceremony held to mark the launch of the book ‘Wana Ali Samaga Dasa Wasarak’ (Ten-years in the company of wild elephants) by Veterinary Surgeon specialized in wild life Vijitha Perera.
Among the pachyderms encountered in this census, is a white elephant spotted in Ulhitiya, which the Minister cited as a sign of prosperity. Earlier, such an animal had been detected in the Yala National Park.
The highest number of 1552 elephants has been countered in Maduruoya. In Trincomalee, 219 elephants have been spotted, 211 in Kavudulla and 197 in Minneriya.
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