‘Methods used to chase away wild elephants accelerated H/E conflict’ | Daily News

‘Methods used to chase away wild elephants accelerated H/E conflict’

The Presidential Committee appointed to prepare a National Action Plan to mitigate the Human-Elephant Conflict has said in their report that the methods used to chase away elephants for decades had increased the conflict. The Committee said that in spite of dedicated efforts by the Wildlife Conservation Department in the last 70 years to drive away elephants are forced to live in residential areas.

All elephants driving away operations have proven failures and failed to remove the main problem confining male elephants to reserved forests.

There has been ample evidence that the rogue elephants are not vulnerable to the driving operations and they respond to the humans and the other mitigating strategies violently and in a highly invasive manner.

A majority of the male elephants have become more and more invasive and hateful towards the humans thereby speeding up the conflict at present. The report has stressed that continuing to pursue an objective of confining elephants to protected areas would cause the death of many elephants as those driven in to protected landscapes and fenced die of starvation. Such a move would cause severe escalation of the conflict as the elephants remain outside become extremely aggressive towards people.

The traditional non scientific elephant driving away operations are seen making peaceful elephants to become problem elephants and later transforming them to uncontrollable murderous elephants helping enormously increase the conflict. The Action Plan has indicated that the continuous unsuccessful elephant drives have made the Sri Lanka to be the country where the conflict expanding to 131 DS Divisions in 19 Districts.

Therefore, the Presidential Committee has indicated that although the information and data concerning the environmental science and behavior of the elephants were very little in the 1950 where the elephant management in use today was planned and implemented is different. Reaching a sustainable and a lasting solution for mitigating the conflict, the country has to use committee recommendations and experience of the past in this regad.