Elephant Calf Tries to Wake its Dead Mother After Seven Sri Lanka Elephants Were Poisoned

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Elephant Calf Tries to Wake its Dead Mother After Seven Sri Lanka Elephants Were Poisoned

 

The World Wildlife Foundation reported that the population of elephants in Sri Lanka has dropped by almost 65 percent since the beginning of the 19th century. Every year, around 200 elephants are killed in the hands of the local farmers. The last official census of wild elephant numbers was held in 2011. It revealed that only 5,879 were left in the country. Thus, the deaths of seven elephants recently are considered a serious blow to the country’s elephant population.

 

Photo Credit: Daily Mail

 

Four elephants were found dead on Friday and another three on Saturday at a forest reserve near Sigiriya, a fifth-century rock fortress and UNESCO-protected heritage site. Ruwan Gunasekera, a police spokesman said, "We have found the remains of seven cow elephants, including a tusker, since Friday." Among the four carcasses found are a pregnant female and a male.

 

Photo Credit: Daily Mail

 

The Daily Mail, a British daily middle-market newspaper published in London in a tabloid format, reported that the elephants were believed to have been poisoned by angry villagers. This is because wild elephants have been storming and destroying crops in the area because they are hungry. Reports showed that roughly 50 people per year are killed by marauding elephants, mostly when they stray into villages near their habitat.

 

Photo Credit: Daily Mail

 

What’s more heartbreaking is a photo of an elephant calf desperately trying to wake its dead mother. It appears that it had been nudging its parent with its trunk in a hopeless attempt to revive her. 

Experts stated that the dead elephants were 10 to 15 years old. Autopsies will still be carried out by wildlife officials and vets to confirm whether the animals were poisoned or not. Killing wild elephants is illegal in Sri Lanka. However, elephant populations frequently come into conflict with rural communities due to the loss of their habitat. Also, they have been suffering from a lack of supplies of food and water.

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