Colombo, March 10 (www.counterpoint.lk): Rewatha, the 45 year old tusker who visitors to the Kalawawe national park yearned to see, has died after getting electrocuted by an illegal fence which surrounded a maize cultivation.
According to initial reports, the fence is allegedly sourced from a main power line and the cultivation is allegedly an illegal one.
Rewatha’s home range was the Kalawawe national park in the north central province. It is an area with a thriving tourist industry with hundreds of Sri Lankan and international tourists visiting the region’s many national parks. In his lifetime, Rewatha would have thrilled many of them after having had sightings of him. He is reported to have died last night.
The Sri Lankan elephant (Elephas maximus maximus) is one of three recognized sub species of the Asian elephant and is native to the country.
Lankan elephants are endangered
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists the Sri Lankan elephant as an endangered species.
In Sri Lanka, 407 elephants were killed in 2019 and 380 were killed in 2020 even when the country was in the grip of Covid-19. They fall victim mostly to the human elephant conflict because of habitat clearance for development and agriculture.
Globally, Sri Lanka has the highest number of elephant deaths in the world. In India, where the elephant population is about 28,000 the number of deaths in a year is less than 300.
Sri Lanka’s elephant population has dwindled to less than 7500.