The ig­no­ble end of an iconic tusker

Sunday Times (Sri Lanka) - - NEWS - By Hi­ran Priyankara Jayas­inghe

It took days of search­ing by Wildlife De­part­ment of­fi­cials to lo­cate the car­cass of the much loved tusker 'Gal­ga­muwe Dala­put­tuwa' or ' Loku Atha' whose de­com­posed body was found on Wed­nes­day.

The tusker had two bul­let wounds, one on its head and an­other in the stom­ach, when it was found near Horowewa at Ka­halla PalleKalle sanc­tu­ary. It was a tragic end to the life of a 50-yearold ele­phant that had come to be in­stantly recog­nis­able by many in the coun­try be­cause of its unique fea­ture of hav­ing crossed tusks.

The ele­phant had been miss­ing for nearly two months. It was the dis­cov­ery of two tusks in the pos­ses­sion of the Grama Se­vaka Ni­lad­hari of Herathgama in Pol­p­ithigama Di­vi­sional Sec­re­tar­iat in Ku­rune­gala on Novem­ber 23 along with two ele­phant pearls ( gaja muthu) by a team of Spe­cial Task Force per­son­nel that led to the sus­pi­cion that the tusks may be­long to the miss­ing tusker.

After an ex­ten­sive search, Wildlife of­fi­cials found the car­cass of an ele­phant which was con­firmed to be that of Dala­put­tuwa after a post mortem.

On Fri­day, six per­sons were ap­pre­hended and pro­duced be­fore the Ma­hara Mag­is­trate Ra­japaksa in con­nec­tion with caus­ing the death of the an­i­mal and trad­ing in tusks. They were re­manded till De­cem­ber 12.

The gun used to kill the tusker and the hack saw used to cut off the tusks were also found by po­lice.

The tusker was blind in one eye hav­ing suf­fered a gun­shot in­jury some years ago. He was also suf­fer­ing from a wound on one of its legs hav­ing been the tar­get of hun­ters pre­vi­ously.

Dr. Tharaka Prasad, the Di­rec­tor in charge of Wildlife Health at the Wildlife De­part­ment as well as the Chief Vet­eri­nary Sur­geon, and Chan­dana Jayas­inghe, vet­eri­nary sur­geon of the North Western re­gion, who con­ducted the post mortem con­firmed that the tusker was shot in its belly and its head by us­ing a 12 gauge bore gun.

The peo­ple of the area as well as groups of en­vi­ron­men­tal­ists have al­leged that of­fi­cials at­tached to the De­part­ment of Wildlife are be­hind the killing of the tusker. Al­le­ga­tions are also lev­elled at the De­part­ment for not keep­ing track of the fa­mous tusker.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Sri Lanka

© PressReader. All rights reserved.