Wildlife officials Keerthi Bandarapura and Hasalaka on Tuesday seized a pair of tusks made out of a bone of an elephant from the residence of the Basnayake Nilame of Kandy Kataragama Devalaya, Gemunu Tikri Banda Walisundera.
The wildlife officers found two tusks 2 feet and 7 inches in height and some bones from the Ganegoda Walawwa of the Basnayake Nilame at Butewatta in Thalathuoya.
Following the seizure, a furious Basnayake Nilame allegedly showed the Wildlife officials the permits he holds for tusks and told them that the two feet of tusks which had been bought from a former Basnsayake Nilame.
He asked whether he was not allowed to possess elephant bones.
Basnayake Nilame Wallisundera told the ‘Daily Mirror’ that there are unlicensed Tuskers, young and old, then there are elephant skeletons in houses without licenses.
“Why are Wildlife officials overlooking for them come after me? Is it because I am doing a ‘clean’ job at the Kandy Kataragama Devalaya?,” he asked.
He also told the ‘Daily Mirror’, that he is filing a “Rights petition” as his Human Rights had been violated by these officials.
However, it was reported that the pair of tusks had been seized since the Nilame was not in possession of a licence or any other document to keep the tusks with him. Wildlife officials said it was a punishable offence to keep tusks or bones of an elephant without a valid licence.
They said the tusks were produced in the Kandy Magistrate’s Court the previous evening and the Nilame was ordered to appear in Courts on March 27. He had been released on Wildlife bail.
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