Human-elephant conflict: Wildlife officials give mammoth task to Anuradhapura villagers

Human-elephant conflict: Wildlife officials give mammoth task to Anuradhapura villagers

Human-elephant conflict: Wildlife officials give mammoth task to Anuradhapura villagers

Written by Tharushan Fernando

13 Nov, 2016 | 8:42 pm

A News1st team visiting Anuradhapura, came across a situation where villagers faced with the threat of wild elephant incursions, have been given a ridiculous responsibility by wildlife officers.

“If it was said that an elephant had been killed the wildlife officers and police would be here first thing in the morning. If anything has happened to us, then it is night by the time they turn up”charged a resident

He explained that the wildlife officers have asked the villagers to put paint on the elephant so they can identify it.

“If we are able to mark the elephant with paint, why would we need the wildlife department? We will pet the elephant put some paint on it and let it go”, he said

He further added that the officers gave firecrackers and asked that it should not be lit near the elephant but to light it closer to ‘where we were’.

Galpoththegama in Anuradhapura is now being frequented by elephants from the Wilpattu Reserve.

Villagers say that while the elephants constantly encroach on the village, the wildlife officers are finding it troublesome to travel from the town to the village.

Over ten homes have been reduced to ruins as a result of wild elephant attacks.

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