Sanctuaries threatened by human invasion

10 September 2013 08:47 pm - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Most varieties of wild life living in the sanctuaries located in the N.C.P. and in the Yala areas in the deep south are annually subjected to severe drought and also confronted with other issues caused by the inhabitation of these areas by humans. Wilpattu has over 40 identified water holes / sources which run dry annually and elephants have no alternative but to enter villages in search of food and water causing much damage. This may also be the setup in Yala. Many trees are being felled and removed but not a single tree is replanted, which adversely affects wild life. Over 50 varieties of migratory birds visit us during the season to breed and to take away their young ones on a long travel lasting thousands of miles. If these birds feel that their safety and food is on the decline and their breeding is being affected, there is always the possibility of their not coming here and would begin to seek alternative grounds elsewhere. Such an event has to be avoided at all cost since these birds add to the beauty and wildlife diversity that attract many tourists and with them foreign exchange. These animals and birds receive their vitamins from the plants / trees and from the fish and other living creatures in water. We should introduce varieties of fish and prawns to these water holes, to further attract them to these selected areas.

"If these birds feel that their safety and food is on the decline and their breeding is being affected, there is always the possibility of their not coming here and would begin to seek alternative grounds elsewhere"

During my service at the Open Prison Camp in Anuradhapura, the jungle area was opposite my quarters in the 1965-1970 period. I observed a small herd of deer coming into the camp at the dead of night in search of food and water. With the assistance of some inmates, I distributed cut pieces of vegetables - especially cabbage from the jungle and placed a drum of water, mixed with sugar. Late in the night, I observed this herd coming into my camp and after consuming all the vegetables they drank the water mixed with sugar. This was a daily feature most welcome by me as well as some of my friends. I also reared a female wildboar - my “Security Officer” 24 hours on duty. We also captured a deer and reared her in the camp for a long period.

Geoffrey Gunasekera.
Colombo 5.
Supdt. of Prisons Rtd.
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