Agriculture, Wildlife and Forest Resources Conservation Minister Mahinda Amaraweera states that wild animals should be reared as children and that responsibility is fell upon both the government and the general public.
These views were expressed by the Minister while attending the opening of a number of new zones of Safari Animal Garden, Ridiyagama, Hambantota in the morning today (04). These new zones include pet feeding zone, birth habitat, rearing centre of immigrant birds, a plant eating animal zone and animal conservation breeding centre.
The Department of Zoological Gardens has made arrangements to open these new zones in safari animal garden to coincide the World Animal Day falling today. A large gathering including the Secretary of the Ministry of Wildlife and Forest Resources Conservation Mrs.Chandra Herath and the Director General of the Department of Zoological Gardens Mr Thilak Premakantha also attended the ceremony.
A special lecture was delivered by Prof. (Mrs.) Sewwandi Jayakody to mark the World Animal Day today. A large number of Zoologist including Mr.Jagath Gunewardena, Attorney-at-Law also participated in the opening ceremony.
Speaking further the Minister expressed following views;
“The Wild Animals are fast dwindling. Accordingly, future generation could see these only at Zoological Gardens and conservation centres of this nature. The objective of forming National Reservations are not only rearing and conservation of wild animals but also earn much need foreign exchange to the country. As we all know, the main issue faced by the country is shortage of foreign exchange. The best way to earn foreign exchange is to develop tourist industry. Sri Lanka’s tourist industry was adversely affected by the Easter Sunday attack and it was further deteriorated due to the influence of Covid 19 pandemic. When the situation improved, tourist arrivals became satisfactory to a certain extent. However, it was weakened again due to unfortunate incidents occurred recently such as demonstrations, conflicts and people’s agitations. With improvement of the situation the tourist industry is seen developing again. But it is unfortunate that certain groups are bent on disrupting the smooth functioning of the country.
The establishment of this safari garden will invariably boost tourist industry in Sri Lanka. Prof. (Mrs.) Sewwandi Jayakody in her speech stressed the importance of protecting wild animals. This responsibility is not limited to the government only. It is the responsibility of the people too. However in my capacity as the Minister of Wildlife and Forest Resources Conservation, I am dedicated to fulfill all obligations and responsibilities on my part towards protecting wild animals.