40 wild jumbo deaths in 2022

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Wildlife Department statistics show that 40 wild elephant deaths have occurred during the first five months of 2022. Wildlife officials said these deaths were recorded from January to May in the Polonnaruwa Wildlife Zone.

They added that this is a steep rise compared to wild elephant deaths recorded during the first five months of 2021. According to the officials, 10 persons have been killed during this period.

They added that 30 elephants were killed in the Polonnaruwa Wildlife Zone last year, while nine persons were killed during this period.

The main reason for the spike in elephant deaths is shootings, coming into contact with electric fences, consumption of hakka patas, and being knocked down by trains.

According to the WWF, the human-elephant conflict is a result of habitat loss.

By Anurada Wishwanath – Polonnaruwa