By Athula Bandara
Wildlife Conservators in Anuradhapura said the death toll of wild elephants in accidents was increasing in alarming proportions and that three wild elephants in the area had been electrocuted to death in cultivated land for the last five days.
They said the three wild elephants had been killed by the squatters who illegally cleared the forest for maize cultivation. They pointed out that individuals receiving political patronage were clearing hundreds of acres of forests for maize cultivation. Wildlife conservators who expressed concern about this situation said the wild elephants who lost their natural habitat were roaming into the villages and the cultivated land only to die in electric traps or to be shot dead.
Officials said the politicians who held the Wildlife Conservation Department responsible for providing protection to the people and the wild elephants as well, had allowed the haphazard clearing of forests to go on unchecked.
Veterinary Surgeon Dr. Chandana Jayasinghe who performed the postmortem examinations confirmed that the three jumbos had died of electric shock.
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