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Human-elephant conflict leads to disaster

2013 Sep 30

by S.M. Wijayaratne - Kurunegala Cor.

The continuous human elephant conflict in the Galgamuwa wildlife zone in the Kurunegala District, has claimed 26 human lives and 27 deaths of wild jumbos during the last three years.

Officials of the Department of Wildlife Conservation have confirmed these figures. Divisional Secretary Areas of Galgamuwa, Ehetuwewa, Ambanpola and Maho come under the purview of Galgamuwa wildlife zone. Records of the wildlife conservation show that in Galgamuwa, 10 human deaths and 06 deaths of wild elephants have occurred in 2010. In 2011, 02 human deaths and deaths of six elephants are reported.

In 2012, 09 human deaths and 08 wild elephants’ deaths have been reported. Up to August, 2013, five human deaths and five deaths of wild elephants have been reported to the officials of the wildlife conservation Department.

Due to negative attitudes and merciless treatment by humans towards wild elephants, the number of deaths of wild elephants has gone up during recent years.

“This tragic trend must be discontinued as the national heritage of the population of wild elephants would vanish from our country soon. Authorities concerned should look for meaningful ways and means of overcoming this tragedy and protecting wild elephants for our future generations said S.M. Ratnayake, the president of Kurunegala District Paddy Farmers’ Association when he was interviewed by “Sunday Observer” recently.

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