Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 6 March 2011





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Census on wild jumbos

A census of Sri Lanka's wild elephant population is to be taken in August and September this year, an official attached to the Wildlife Department said.

The assistance of experts on Asian elephants from India will also be sought in the census process, according to the official.

He said August and September are the most suitable months to conduct the census of the wild elephant population. Due to the drought season a large number of elephants can be seen close to the tanks and ponds. So statistics of elephants can be taken easily while double calculation can also be avoided.

According to Wildlife Department sources, due to the human- elephant conflict 81 persons and 228 elephants died last year. Previously collected statistics of the elephant population were not complete. The island's first census of the elephant population was taken in 1963 by a foreign expert.

According to his report, there were 1,500 elephants in Sri Lanka. The second census carried out in 1969 counted 2,200 elephants. The Wildlife Department was not satisfied with these statistics and conducted another census of wild elephants, later in 1992. There were 4,500 elephants according to the report.

A census conducted in the North Western Wildlife zone, found that there are 1,706 elephants in this zone. A census carried out in the 2008 Mahaweli zone revealed that there are 2,149 elephants in the area.



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