The exact cause of death has not been confirmed yet and investigations were being carried out regarding the sudden deaths of seven female elephants that died in the Hiriwadunna Thunbakulam Reserve in Habarana, Tourism Development, Wildlife and Christian Religious Affairs Minister John Amaratunga said yesterday.
“Investigations are being carried out by wildlife officials and veterinary surgeons. Preliminary investigations have been completed, but more are yet to be done. Further confirmation must come through the Government Analyst,” he said.
“The information acquired through these investigations so far suggests the cause of death to be poison,” Mr. M.G.C. Sooriyabandara Director General, Department of Wildlife Conservation said.
But further confirmation was necessary to detect the exact source of these chemicals, he said.
“We have taken necessary measures to issue required reports to the court and continuous investigations regarding this issue is being carried out providing necessary samples to confirm the exact cause of death,” Mr. Sooriyabandara said.
Minister Amaratunga said they had never anticipated a thing like this would ever happen and so many deaths of elephants at once were a critical issue.
It is clear that strict regulations must be established to preserve this species. Therefore, the cabinet has approved the basic regulations regarding this yesterday, and a gazette will be released soon, he said.
Furthermore, he said to have patience as they were trying their best to unravel the truth behind these deaths. (Thisari Andria Walawege)