Written by Lahiru Fernando
27 Nov, 2017 | 10:27 pm
Wildlife officers are powering on with the search for the iconic ‘Galgamuwa Tusker’. The tusker has not been sighted for over two months, and the public is fearing the worst…
It is a rare sight to see a tusker in Sri Lanka, who face dangers from poachers seeking their ivory.
Only 7% of male elephants in Sri Lanka grow tusks, and at present only 2% of the total elephant population are tuskers.
The iconic tusker is blind in one eye and weak in the other. This magnificent creature stood apart, even from the rarest of his species, given the unique curvature of his tusks.
The Galgamuwa Tusker has come into human confrontations many and more times, surviving even gunshot injuries in the past.
He used his sense of smell to locate food, which made him travel often between Galgamuwa and Kala-Wewa.
But with increased human enroachment on his territory, the tusker was sighted in Kekirawa and other areas in the recent months.
Once previously, the tusker was reported missing in Kekirawa, before turning up again in Galgamuwa.
However, this time around the iconic tusker’s disappearance is feared to be permanent….
There are suspicions that the magnificent beast had been killed.
These suspicions arose when two suspects were arrested by police in Nikawewa, Polpithigama few days ago (November 24). The arrested were in possession of a pair of elephant tusks and ivory organic gemstones.
One of the arrested is the Grama Niladhari of Herathgama.
The tusker was last sighted close to Herathgama, and the tusks which were found in possession of the two arrested suspects also had the unique curvature.
Wildlife officials sought to inspect the tusks, but failed as they are in court custody.
A search operation is currently underway across the expanse of the Kahallapalle Forest Reserve which the tusker frequented.
According to the News 1st correspondent, wildlife officers are also searching near human settlements and chena cultivation, suspecting the tusker may have been killed and buried in the area.
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