Sunday, June 10, 2018
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.
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