Home / News/ 7 wild elephants poisoned to death: Wildlife Dept.

7 wild elephants poisoned to death: Wildlife Dept.

Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Thursday, 10 October 2019 02:38

  • Profile of toxic chemicals still unclear
  • Government Analyst’s report to soon be released


By Charumini de Silva

The three-member committee appointed by the Department of Wildlife and Conservation yesterday confirmed that the mysterious death of seven elephants was due to poisoning, with the types of toxic chemicals used still unclear.

“The final report submitted by the Expert Committee appointed by the department found that the death of the seven elephants was due to poisoning, but we still haven’t gotten any verification on the chemicals,” Department of Wildlife Conservation Director General Chandana Sooriyabandara told the Daily FT.

Six cows and a male elephant were found dead in the Thumbikulam reserve in Habarana in late September.

Sooriyabandara said they were now waiting for the Government Analyst’s report to be submitted to the court to verify the exact type of poison that led to the death of the seven elephants.

“The samples collected from the autopsies of the elephants are now being investigated by the Government Analyst by Court order. We will only be able to get further details on the report after they submit their analytical report to Court,” he added.

Autopsies of the elephants were also directed to the Veterinary Research Institute and Faculty of Veterinary Science of the University of Peradeniya for further investigations to be carried out and those final reports were expected to arrive soon.

However, the Director General was unable to provide a timeline for the Government Analyst’s report to be released.

The Wildlife Ministry also appointed a six-member Expert Committee on 1 October to probe the sudden death of seven elephants. The committee is headed by former Deputy Director General of Animal Production and Health Prof. S.E. Ranawana, while the members include Dr. L.H. Dhammi (expert in forensic toxicology), Dr. D.L. Waidyaratne (expert in forensic pathology), Manori Gunawardhana (expert in elephant ecology), Dr. E.W.Y. Lakshani (expert in agrochemicals) and Dr. Ganga Wijesinghe (expert in veterinary science and pathology). The department has identified 16 elephant corridors in wildlife reserves where the majority of land has been invaded by unauthorised farmers. Authorities admitted development projects and unauthorised cultivations in the wildlife reserves had been a major cause for the rise in human-elephant conflict.

According to official data, 293 elephants were killed during the first nine months of this year, while 93 people were killed by wild elephants straying into villages near wildlife sanctuaries. Last year, 319 elephants were murdered, while 96 people were killed by elephants.


Share This Article

Facebook Twitter


1. All comments will be moderated by the Daily FT Web Editor.

2. Comments that are abusive, obscene, incendiary, defamatory or irrelevant will not be published.

3. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.

4. Kindly use a genuine email ID and provide your name.

5. Spamming the comments section under different user names may result in being blacklisted.


Today's Columnists

Ministry of Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET): A nation rich in human capital

Friday, 18 October 2019

nIncrease TVET certificate holders from 79,200 to 144,000, which will result in 40% of the 360,000 students per annum. nTransform unskilled labour contribution of the labour force into skilled labour contribution of the labour force by reducing the

Politics of history

Friday, 18 October 2019

An orator addressing a big political meeting in the North Central Province invites a journey to an atavistic glory, invoking names of several kings as well as notional imagery from the animal world. “Coming from these historical lands you are proud

The greenhouse and house destruction

Friday, 18 October 2019

The Buddha the Enlightened One on attaining enlightenment over 2,600 at Bodh Gaya uttered this paean of joy where he said, “For so many lives in the Sansara I have been looking for you the house builder, I have seen you and you will never make a ho

Deception, distortion, demonisation: Integral parts of SL democracy today

Friday, 18 October 2019

Elections are here, time for pacts, pledges and promises – the time-tested Sri Lankan way of savouring democracy. The sooner you get them negotiated and sealed the better. Formation of alliances before a Presidential Election is normal in Sri Lank

Columnists More