Two thousand jumbo deaths from 1990 to 2007
A Wildlife Conservation Department survey has revealed that 2,241
elephants have died as a result of shooting, unknown reasons,
electrocution, poisoning, accidents and natural and other causes from
1990 to 2007.
The current elephant population is estimated at 3,500-4,000 and a
gradual increase has been witnessed in Mahaweli and Wayamba regions
during the last four decades.
According to the survey, 100 elephants have died due to natural
causes from 1990 to 2007 and a certain number of elephants that have
died due to natural reasons should be included in the number that have
died as a result of unknown causes.
"We have taken certain measures to avoid elephant deaths," he said.
"The Gajamituro program has been initiated with the involvement of
all stakeholders of the human-elephant conflict in collaboration with
the Nation Building Ministry," a spokesman said.
Meanwhile, the Government has allocated Rs. 300 million through the
2009 budget to construct a 200 km electrified fence. A 120 km
electrified fence has already been reconstructed while the 130 km.
electrified fence is still to be constructed.
Arrangements have also been made to implement the Fauna and Flora Act
strictly to protect elephants.
The reconstruction work of the Lunugamwehera National Sanctuary with
an elephant orphanage has also been completed.
"Work on the Ritigala elephant rehabilitation centre and the
orphanage are expected to be completed this year," the spokesman said.
He said 866 lives have been lost as a result of the human-elephant
crisis between 1992 to 2007 while 3,103 properties including houses and
furniture have been damaged between 2004 to 2007.