Written by Staff Writer
04 Mar, 2014 | 9:22 pm
Environmentalists allege that there is a conspiracy afoot to prepare separate documentation for an elephant calf that was found while being kept illegally at the Kandalama Walauwwa in Mirigama, instead of the existing distorted documentation.
They say that the conspiracy was hatched after the distorted document was shown on News1st last night.
The Minister of Wildlife Resource Conservation too has stated that the documentation for the elephant calf at present has many shortcomings
Wildlife officers took over custody of an elephant calf and an adult elephant which were being kept illegally at the Kandalama Walauwwa in Mirigama on Friday, after acting on a tip-off.
Submissions were subsequently made to the Additional Magistrate in Attanagalla who ordered that the calf be taken to the Eth-athura Sevana Elephant Sanctuary and that the adult be taken to the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage.
Environmentalists who examined swellings on the elephant calf’s rump, claimed that there was evidence to suspect that the calf was harassed and captured.
They added that there were several faults with the permit that was presented when wildlife officers arrived to take over custody of the animals.
Environmentalist, Pubudu Weeraratne expressed the following views:
“The Department of Wildlife Conservation has the ability to change the permit. They could say that the model form for registering the elephant calf had been filled in and submitted to them. At the same time they are trying to highlight that the Wildlife Conservation Department has not responded to the permit that was sent and that the Department failed to issue a permit. “
“But this is a completely false story. The keeping of elephant calves illegally and trying to say that an application was made and a permit was not issued in order to justify it is not something that can be accepted before the law.”
On the News1st bulletin at 10 o’clock last night on Sirasa TV, News1st revealed information regarding this, including that the permit had not been renewed since May 10, 2012, the information contained in it was distorted and that the calf was being kept at a different location to the address noted on the permit.
Minister of Wildlife Resource Conservation, Vijith Wijayamuni Zoysa made following comments about this incident:
“ I too saw the permit when it was shown on Sirasa. There is a problem with the elephant’s height. In two years it has only grown by two inches. I too understood that low level officials had fallen into trouble while exercising their duty. The doctor had distanced himself from this. It is evident that this is a bad situation. There are shortcomings. “
“I cannot say clearly as yet as to what it is. I am looking into it. From this morning I have been looking for the two officials I need to ascertain the truth of the matter. The Director General and the official to make inquiries from are both not here he added.”
Submissions are to be made to the Attanagalla Magistrate’s Court tomorrow on the two elephants that were taken into the custody of wildlife officers from the Kandalama Walauwwa in Mirigama.
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