Stop transfer of jumbos to Horowpathana – BCRC

By Eunice Ruth | Published: 2:00 AM Sep 25 2021

By Eunice Ruth

The Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC) should immediately stop capturing wild elephants and transferring them to the Horowpathana Elephant Holding Ground, Convener of Biodiversity Conservation and Research Circle (BCRC), Supun Lahiru Prakash urged.

He noted the Director General of the DWC has ordered the Assistant Director of the Anuradhapura Wildlife Administration region to capture a wild elephant from the Pothana, Katukeliyawa area in Anuradhapura, saying that the elephant causes troubles to the general public. 

Also, it was ordered to confine the captured elephant at the Horowpathana Elephant Holding Ground. Prakash said that a well trained and experienced elephant capturing team of the DWC was given the task of capturing elephants but they have refused to capture this elephant. The team from DWC is currently engaged in a trade union action demanding that wild elephants not be captured and confined to the Horowpathana Elephant Holding Ground, as it is already a failed plan. 

Therefore, the DWC has assigned a team with new officers to capture the elephant and it’s a risk for both the elephant and the DWC officers, he added. While commenting about the Horowpathana Elephant Holding Ground, he noted that it was a failed plan to mitigate the human elephant conflict. Also, according to the report of the elephant census conducted in June 2019, several elephants have died due to various reasons at the elephant holding ground. 

Therefore, it is clear that the holding ground concept is not a scientific way to mitigate the human elephant conflict and it kills the elephants, Prakash noted. Therefore, he requested the State Minister of Wildlife Protection, not to repeat the same mistake again and take immediate steps to save the lives of wild elephants, general public and the officers of DWC.

By Eunice Ruth | Published: 2:00 AM Sep 25 2021

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