Last Updated : 2019-07-20 15:12:00

Minister vows action after Yala bear saga

27 April 2018 04:17 am - 10     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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While stating that there is a threat to wildlife in the Yala National Park due to the action of some people, Wildlife Minister Ravindra Samaraweera yesterday said steps would be taken to minimize such threats which would result in decreasing safari jeeps entering the park daily.

Minister Samaraweera made this statement after a photograph, which showed a number of safari jeeps with tourists surrounding a sloth bear in the park, went viral on social media.  

He told the Daily Mirror that this was an issue which should be taken into consideration and accordingly immediate steps would be taken with this regard by the ministry in order to safeguard the wildlife.

“People who are visiting Yala tend to engage in such activities and when they see an animal, all the safari jeeps surround it in order to have a closer look. The steps taken to control this condition would be informed in the near future and it might result in reducing the number of safari jeeps entering the park daily,” he said.

However, Wildlife Conservation Department said such incidents could be dangerous to wildlife if some sort of accident took place.

Department’s Director General M.G.C. Sooriyabandara told the Daily Mirror that the wildlife in these tourists’ zones including Yala were habituated to humans and their activities and added that it was the reason this bear in the picture was walking among the safari jeeps calmly without any fear.

Meanwhile, senior environmental Jagath Gunawardena told the Daily Mirror that this incident was a result of irregular vehicle moments.

He said the wildlife should not be distressed due to safari jeeps and added that Wildlife Conservation Department should tackle these issues.

“I have observed that many animals were being run over and killed on the roads in Yala. Accordingly, this incident is obviously a threat to wildlife,” he said. (Kalathma Jayawardhane)

  Comments - 10

  • John Friday, 27 April 2018 07:53 AM

    Minister, do you actually live in SL as you appear to have only just heard of this menace at Yala causing damage to the park?!

    Disave Friday, 27 April 2018 07:55 AM

    Why has this become a habbit? You make a mess of things and then waste time and funds trying to provide a false remedy. Money decides as is the norm. Atleast let the animals live, in their confined last few strips of forestland.

    Appu Friday, 27 April 2018 08:09 AM

    When all wildlife disaapeared from Yala, consider the spieces in Diyawanna Oya to be placed there.

    Dee Friday, 27 April 2018 08:22 AM

    Yes you restrict. Next day it would be lifted.

    Jude Friday, 27 April 2018 08:31 AM

    Hey the Wildlife minister should take care of the Animals at the house by the Diyawanna Oya !?? (AKA Parliament) Some animals in there should be Caged(Jailed) then some animals should be tamed!! Some should not be allowed to be among human beings!!! And watchout for Wolfs in Sheep Clothing!!?? Most of them Wolfs in Wolfs clothing!! More often they're bloodhounding dogs!!??

    lkboy Friday, 27 April 2018 10:44 AM

    Only talk. No action.

    Rasheed Friday, 27 April 2018 11:10 AM

    First get the permission from Minister F. Mustapha.

    Banda Friday, 27 April 2018 06:14 PM

    ther should be a rule that no vehcle should close to an animal less than 20 meters. Any close up photos neeed to be reviewd to find the culprit.

    Randy Friday, 27 April 2018 08:26 PM

    Cut cellular coverage in Yala you will see big difference in this .

    Shawn Saturday, 28 April 2018 04:22 PM

    decreasing safari jeeps will solve the problem of the long lines and traffic and smog, yes this is good, but what would be even better is to actually train those jeep drivers to care more about wildlife, and how to behave in the park. Because lets face it, even if its only 10 jeeps, they can still surround an animal like this and stress the poor creature out. You need to keep a minimum distance from the animals, they need strict guidelines/rules/regulations.


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