Human-elephant conflict:18 jumbos and 9 humans killed in the last 2 years

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By 2017-11-14

By Rathindra Kuruwita

Eighteen elephants and nine humans have died in the last two years due to the human-elephant conflict prevalent in the Hambantota District, the Movement for Land and Agricultural Reform (MONLAR) said.

"This is due to the Left Bank Development Project of the Walawe River and the unplanned development activities initiated by the administration of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa," the Coordinator of MONLAR, Chinthaka Rajapakse said.

"Due to these projects, the forests that accommodate elephants have been destroyed and they run rampage on farmlands.

Eighteen elephants and nine humans have been killed in the last 24 months. Moreover, two other persons have become permanently disabled," he said.

Chinthaka Rajapakse added that "in the recent months, the Mahaweli Authority has allowed contractors to clear up the forests, excavate granite and gravel and commence various commercial plantations. The Department of Wildlife Conservation has proposed to establish the Hambantota Elephant Management Sanctuary to link the Udawalawe, Lunugamvehera, and Bundala National Parks, after identifying the migration patterns of elephants. If this was established the human-elephant conflict in the area could be managed. We request the government, once again, to establish this sanctuary," he said.

In 2016, 279 elephants and 88 people were killed in Sri Lanka due to the human-elephant conflict according to the Department of Wildlife Conservation statistics.

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