Thursday, November 10, 2016

Sri Lanka Cracks Down on Owners of Elephants Taken From Wild

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

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

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

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

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1 comment:

Emily Ann said...

Disgusting. Putting pageantry over the welfare of these elephants. I like to believe there is a special place in hell for the pple of Sri Lanka.