Mobile phone networks would be disconnected for visitors within the Yala National Park for a week from July 20 considering animal safety, the Wild Life Department said yesterday.
Wild Life Department Director General H.D. Rathnayake told the Daily Mirror that after studying the method, the department would decide to whether to continue the programme or not.
He said that the regulation was taken into consideration following a string of complaints where animals’ safety dragged in to danger by some visitors.
Several animals have been killed by the carelessness of some visitors, who had driven their vehicles fast to reach rare animals after receiving text messages from other visitors, who randomly notice rare animals such as leopards, he said.
As a result of such incidents, traffic congestion had also occurred on nearby roads to the Yala Park discomforting drivers, who had complained to the department, Mr. Rathnayake said.
“This situation is a big threat to animals. With the purpose of ensuring the safety of them, we decided to disconnect mobile networks from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. in the mornings and 3 p.m. 6 p.m. in the evenings. We hope visitors will support us,” he said.
He said the restricting programmes would be launched throughout the week from July 20.
The mobile networks would be active the following week, he said.(Piyumi Fonseka)