"There are obvious irregularities in the documents that have been submitted to obtain licences for these elephants"
By Lakna Paranamanna
Animal rights activists yesterday accused the Wildlife Ministry Secretary and Wildlife Conservation Department (WCD) Director General of being directly involved in providing a legal standing to the baby elephants that are smuggled out of national parks and sold off for domestication.
Animal rights activist, Pubudu Weerarathne told a media briefing yesterday that the latest evidence of their involvement in the racket surfaced through the responses submitted by the WCD to the Auditor General’s Department, for a probe that is being carried out on several selected baby elephants that the owners claim are domesticated. Weerarathne quoting the WCD responses and the AG Department conclusion on the matter said the responses submitted by the WCD were a mockery that had attempted to portray the probe carried out by the Auditor General’s Department as a bogus and misleading one.
He pointed out that while ample evidence is available to prove the four elephants under investigation have in fact been smuggled and have not been birthed by any of the domestic female elephants, the WCD in its response has continued to maintain they are unable to make any determination due to lack of information.
“There are obvious irregularities in the documents that have been submitted to obtain licences for these elephants; the gender of the animals has been visibly altered, the previous owners who have allegedly sold the animal has in real, been dead for over a year during the time the elephant was sold,” Weerarathne said.