The Ministry of Agriculture, Wildlife and Forest Resources Conservation has paid its attention on news published in the media and circulated on social media platforms showing the incidents of wild elephant attacks to vehicles travelling on Buttala- Kataragama road.
Mr. Mahinda Amaraweera, the Minister of Agriculture, Wildlife and Forest Resources Conservation instructed the Director General of Wildlife to immediately start a short term programme to prevent this situation.
Accordingly, during the period from 5.00 a.m. to midnight on the past four days, mobile patrols were deployed to drive the wild elephants roaming on Buttala- Kataragama road to the forest and to prevent them from attacking vehicles by employing the officers and vehicles in Yala Galge Range Forest Office. The Director General of the Department of Wildlife Conservation, Mr.Chandana Sooriyabandara said that the Department of Wildlife Conservation decided to continue this move in the future too as required.
The Department of Wildlife Conservation states that wild elephant attacks have increased since some people travelling on this road by vehicles are accustomed to feeding the wild elephants and also certain passengers and drivers try to make fun of wild elephants by panicking them.
The Director General of Wildlife added that instructions have been given to wild life officers to take action to arrest persons who feed and cause harm to wild elephants roaming on Buttala- Kataragama road and in any other areas such as Udawalawa and Habarana etc. and to prosecute them. The Department of Wildlife Conservation states that since mobile patrols were deployed on Buttala- Kataragama road during the past 04 days wild elephant movements stopped and no incident was reported during the said period that vehicles were attacked.