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Elephant cubs caught, tortured and sold

An elephant cub found in Yala National Park.

In recent times there have been many stories about rackets involving instances of capturing innocent elephant cubs living in the Sri Lankan forests, torturing them inhumanly and selling them later. But by now most people have forgotten about these incidents and the threat towards wild elephant cubs living in the jungles have not diminished with time.

The torture and selling of innocent wild elephant cubs have been carried out together with assistance of officials and the latest such incident was reported from Demalatotupala in Yala National Park.

After receiving information that a elephant cub has been kept tied at “Demalatotupala” in Yala National Park, on November 7 Kataragama Police officials went to investigate the location together with wildlife officials. However, no elephant cub was found in that place.

After receiving information from a resident in Manikpuragama area in Sithulpauva, Kataragama that a three month old elephant cub has arrived in their place, the wildlife officials together with police officials visited the place and released the elephant cub that was kept tied and handed over to the Udawalawe elephant orphanage. Due to the elephant cub being weak with wounds and other symptoms that were discovered by the veterinary sergeants, it is believed that this baby elephant was captured.

What happened to the mother of the elephant cub?

Stealing and selling elephant cubs have been going on for the past two decades in Sri Lanka. Most of the time the mother of the elephant cubs is killed before capturing their babies. It is doubtful whether the same fate took place to the mother of this elephant cub that was discovered. Investigation

How did the elephant cub get lost in this manner? Who captured the elephant cub? Is it another instance of an elephant cub stealing racket? Who is behind this? A special team has been appointed to investigate these headed by Western province wildlife assistant director W A D A indrajith on the advise of Wildlife Director General M G C Suriyabandara. Kataragama Police has also launched an investigation on this incident.

Three elephant cubs who escaped from their captors

An elephant cub that was chained in Hambegamuwa area near Udawalawe National Park was found in December 2016 by wildlife officials. Another was discovered chained in similar manner in Gonaganara area on Buttala Kataragama road.

Therefore altogether three elephant cubs have been so far discovered together with this present elephant cub that was saved within one year’s time.

Wildlife Department Director General M. G. C. Suriyabandara said that a special investigation has been launched headed by an experienced wildlife department official and the discovered facts will be reported to the Courts.