Elephants Deaths Reduced During 2020 – Says DWC


The Department of Wildlife Conservation yesterday claimed timely initiatives and awareness campaigns had brought down the number of elephants deaths especially due to human activities against the gentle beasts.

Department’s statistics indicate 318 elephants died last year as a result of the human-elephant conflict, compared to that of 407 elephants that died in 2019. In 2020, 112 human deaths were reported to elephant attacks, as against 122 in 2019.

Compared to 2019, there is a clear decline in the number of elephants killed due to the human-elephant conflict in 2020; the number of human lives lost to the Human-Elephant conflict has also declined last year, compared to 2019, according to Department of Wildlife Conservation Director-General Chandana Sooriyabandara. A Department spokesperson said that electric fences covering some 4500 km countrywide is one of the major reasons to bring down the death rates.

Elephants were killed by firing squads and poisoning. The first elephant death in 2021 was reported in Uva Paranagama, days ago. A recent research paper published by Environmental Scientist Supun Lahiru Prakash and Elephant expert, Dr. Prithiviraj Fernando  discussed at the State Accounts Committee, these figures marked Sri Lanka to be the country with the highest number of elephant killings in the world. An inquiry conducted by Parliamentary Committee on Public Accounts (COPA) also found that Sri Lanka is the country with the highest number of elephants killed due to the human-elephant conflict.