Conservationists say the lockout of the Sri Lankan corona virus has helped reduce the death toll from clashes between elephants and humans.
Last year, 405 elephants were killed by humans, compared to 360 in 2018. According to government statistics, 121 people have been killed by elephants, up from 96 last year.
Commenting on World Elephant Day on Wednesday, Jayantha Jayawardena, an international expert on elephants, said, “We can say that the human-elephant conflict has been resolved during the curfew imposed on the corona virus.
“But this is a temporary situation. Farmers begin to protect their crops and killings resume. ”
Many farmers shoot and poison elephants in an attempt to keep them away from their land. In the majority of Buddhist islands, elephants are used for religious purposes and are protected by law, but elephant killings are rarely prosecuted.
Many of the human deaths are due to the massive decline in elephant habitat and the roaming of villages in search of food.
Sumith Pilapitiya, a conservation scientist and former director general of the government’s wildlife department, estimates that the number of elephant deaths due to corona virus locking has dropped by 40 percent, beginning in March and officially ending in June.
From 2010 to 2017, 240 elephants die annually, and the pace has accelerated since then, Pilapitiya said.
Pilapita said that since the Asian elephant was classified as “endangered”, we could not eliminate the elephant at that rate.
A “significant reduction” during the lock-up period – only people were allowed to buy essential items, including stay orders across the country, and he expected the total number to fall this year.
According to the latest census, the elephant population in Sri Lanka has dropped to 7,000, from 12,000 in the early 1900s.
Mr. Pilapitiya said that the first meeting of a new panel of experts to reduce human-elephant conflicts in the country will be held on World Elephant Day.
“This is a good start and we hope the government will implement the committee’s recommendations,” he said.
During the closure, it was reported that elephant twins were found at the Mineria Sanctuary, northeast of Colombo, along with Pilapitiya wildlife pursuits.
The closure of wildlife parks during the outbreak increased poaching and poaching of all wildlife, forcing the government to order its crackdown in July.
Environmental lawyer Jagath Gunawardena said it was easier for poachers as law enforcement officials had to deal with the corona virus.
“Although the incidence of human-elephant conflict has decreased, there has been an increase in the killing of animals for meat during that time,” he said.
The lockout officially ended on June 28, and Sri Lanka’s borders are closed to foreign tourists. It has severely affected some residents who depend on the country’s elephants for their income.
The Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage has been closed for fear of infecting the animals with the virus. It reopened last month, but its 84 elephants are largely no obstacle to visitors.
Suneth Sanjeewa, who runs a shop outside the Elephant Orphanage, 80 kilometers (50 miles) east of Colombo, said: “No one comes here during the week.
Before the outbreak, she served about 200 guests, but now she has no customers, a restaurant owner said.