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Jumbo-sized problem turns deadly in Sri Lanka

Human-elephant conflict is bringing more deaths as the animals leave the jungle in search of food

UCA News reporter, Colombo

UCA News reporter, Colombo

Updated: December 18, 2020 10:16 AM GMT
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Jumbo-sized problem turns deadly in Sri Lanka

A mahout rides an elephant along a road in Piliyandala, a suburb of Sri Lanka's capital Colombo, on Dec. 13. (Photo: AFP)

The human-elephant conflict in Sri Lanka has become more deadly. The human death toll averages 272 a year, while 407 elephants have died in the past year.

Environmentalist Nuwan Danuska Ariyathilake wants authorities to work together in a more efficient way to resolve the conflict. He said some farmers poison or shoot wild elephants because they destroy crops and damage property.

"Many development plans we make are not environmentally friendly. Due to some development projects, people have been settled in jungles. We need a permanent plan for development projects in the country," said Ariyathilake from Kurunegala.

Sri Lanka has become the country with the highest number of elephant deaths and second-highest number of human deaths due to human-elephant conflict.

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