Severely injured deer rescued in Kalutara

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Villagers in the Kalutara District found a severely injured and displaced deer that had been caught by a hunter’s trap gun in a nearby forest.

The deer was found in Halawalkele Grama Niladhari Division, which borders the Nawalakanda Ecological Zone in Walallawita Divisional Secretariat Division in Kalutara District, a sensitive ecosystem with high biodiversity in the country.

According to environmentalist Peshala Karunaratne, despite the fact that the Department of Wildlife Conservation was notified following reports of the displaced animal, the Wildlife Conservation Department was unable to come on the day the animal was found for medical treatment.

“Thus, the villagers banded together and escorted the displaced deer out of the forest area, where he was kept in the office of the Halawalkele Grama Niladhari. The next day, a team led by Dr. Pramuditha Devasurendra from the Department of Wildlife Conservation’s Attidiya Wildlife Sanctuary arrived and took the animal to the Animal Hospital for further treatment. Yagirala, Nawalakanda, Meegahatenna, Halawalkele, Kalugala, Paniyawala Mukalana, Hakok forests, and a large number of wildlife species live in the Walallawita Divisional Secretariat Division, where this animal was shot and injured,” he said.

Furthermore, he said due to the lack of a wildlife sanctuary, the Attidiya Wildlife Hospital and the Hikkaduwa Wildlife Office currently cover the area, and that due to its large size, they are unable to act quickly, making it difficult for them to treat the displaced wildlife quickly. As a result of the ongoing requests for the setting up of a Wildlife Office in the Walallawita Divisional Secretariat, the Department approved the operation of a Wildlife Office in the Walallawita Divisional Secretariat beginning in March 2022 and even sought the necessary buildings.

However, after receiving approval, further work on the office’s implementation was directed to the Western Provincial Office, which is yet to take action to set up the office.

Karunaratne also claimed that if they had acted properly, a wildlife office in Walallawita would now be operational, and they would have been able to provide immediate painless treatment to the unfortunate wildlife.

According to the villagers, a deer that had been shot dead was found in the area about three months ago, and wildlife poaching is rampant in the area, which the authorities have yet to address, posing a serious threat to wildlife.

“Such wildlife crimes are common in the area due to the absence of a wildlife office, and setting up a wildlife office can help prevent harm to animals and create an environment in which animals can live freely.  Therefore, we kindly request that the relevant authorities set up the approved wildlife office in Walallawita as soon as possible,” he urged.

(TR)