A media briefing was held by the Ministry of Environment and Natural resources on Tuesday the 26th of May at the Central Environment Authority inColombo to brief about the steps taken to solve the Human Elephant conflictin Sri Lanka.

The Elephant has been a key species from ancient times in Sri Lanka; Sri Lanka is considered to have the highest density of elephant population in Asia throughout history. Speaking to Earth Lanka, Director of Wild Life Department Mr. Ananda Wijesooriya stated that the Wild Life Department hasmanaged to carry out a census since 1951 to protect them.

He further stated that a head count was carried out in 1993, 2004 in the North Western side which has been affected badly. In 2008 around the Mahaweli, Trincomalee Polonnaruwa and the eastern region a total of 5350 elephants have been recorded in Sri Lanka this year showing an increase of 8% of the population in to the rate of 100/140 male and female elephants.
Further commenting the Director stated that setting up of electric fences in the conflict areas has shown better results, which had cost the government 20 million to build.

Speaking at the media briefing the Minister for environment and natural resources Hon. Patali Champika Ranawaka stated that mass development of the country has impacted the elephant population especially in the North Western side. Further commenting he said that the migration route of the elephants have been destroyed due to the implementation of villages. The Minister said that they have taken steps to connect a path through sanctuaries in the Mahaweli region, Moragahakanda, Lahugala, Yala, Kumana, Wasgomuwa, and Gal Oya so the elephants can continue with their usual pattern of migration.

Further Emphasizing on the issue the Government have estimated to set up 1000 electric fences including the Eastern province and the Northern province. A program called Gaja Mithuro has also been set up in the affected districts establishing 11 centers including 48 divisional secretaries, with the participation of village committees and timber co operation. The Minister also said that no. of deaths of elephants have also been reported from North and East this year. The ministry has estimated a total no. of population of 6000 and nearly 250 elephants killed in a year in Sri Lanka. The Ministry has also planned to resettle elephants in the Wilpatthu national park, He further stated that they have taken initiatives to declare new sanctuaries to resettle elephants in the parts  Northern district Chundikulam, Chalei, Wakalei and Madu areas. The Elephants aged fewer than 10 also will be resettle in a rehabilitation sanctuary at Anmedilla Ritigala to minimize the conflict in future. Earth Lanka hopes that this initiative will protect the elephant population in Sri Lanka.