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.”
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