According to the Wild Life Department`s latest statistics nine wild elephants have fallen prey to human activities involved in the Northwest Wild Life Zone, within the first month of the current year.
A wild Life spokesman said these killings were reported from K Thirappane, Tantirimale, Bulankulama and Walagambahuwa in the A`pura district, Nawagaththegama in the Puttalam district, Settikulama in the Vanni and Giribawa in the Kurunegala district. Five of them were killed by shooting three by electrocution and one by poisoning.
According to information received by the Wild Life Department, three wild elephants have been killed by a land mine at Hettikulama an unoccupied territory in the Wanni district, recently.
Further 12 wild elephants wounded by shooting and in migration are being treated by the Wild Life Department`s vetenary medical officers.
It was reported recently, of a tusker which had destroyed cultivation after encroaching into a paddy field at Walagambahuwa village at Thirappane in Anuradhapura was electrocuted.
The villagers complain that these killings are a result of Wildlife Department officers not taking heed to chase these wild elephants encroaching the villages back into the jungles.
The officers have failed to erect electric fences at proper places and failed to supply ammunition to peasants to chase away the elephents.
Wildlife department officers said, the steady increase in killings is due to opening of chena cultivation. In loss of native forest abodes and food sources the wild elephants are forced to encroach into villages and the government`s supply of arms to peasants as a means of protecting themselves, from elephant attacks.
Meanwhile the environmentalists warn that this natural resource would soon be extinct, if a systematic and expeditious plan is not taken by the authorities to preserve these precious resource.