Colombo, Dec 1 (newsin.asia) – The Sri Lankan Police, on Friday arrested five people over the murder of a majestic tusker named ‘Dala Pattuwa’ whose carcass was found in the Pallekele reserve in the Central Hills of Kandy on Nov 29.
The majestic tusker, was reported missing for nearly two months and several search teams had been deployed to locate its whereabouts.
The tusker had many times, in the past, been the target of hunters and poachers who had been eyeing the animal for its unique curvaceous tusks.
Sri Lanka’s Law and Order Minister, had on Wednesday ordered the Criminal Investigations Department to launch an immediate probe after the carcass was discovered.
An initial investigation revealed that the majestic elephant had been killed to sell its tusks at a value of Rs. 2 million (an estimated 13,000 US dollars).
The Minister also instructed the Police Chief to launch a thorough probe into the killing of other elephants which have been reported in recent months.
It is a rare sight to see a tusker in Sri Lanka, who face dangers from poachers seeking their ivory.
Only 7 percent male elephants in Sri Lanka have tusks.
The Sri Lankan government, last year, became the first South Asian country to destroy more than 350 poached tusks valued at over 2 million dollars, in an attempt to show poachers that it would not tolerate the killing of elephants.
The tusks were displayed at the Galle Face promenade in the island’s capital Colombo before being fed into a 100-tonne crusher to be sent to an industrial furnace.
The haul, which experts said came from African elephants slaughtered for their tusks, was seized at Colombo’s port nearly four years ago en route to Dubai from Kenya.
The organisers observed a two-minute silence for the slain elephants before religious leaders performed funeral rites for the animals.