PM in­structs Wildlife Dept. to re­cruit guards

To pro­tect elec­tric fences

Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka) - - NEWS - BY SANDUN A. JAYASEKERA

While in­struct­ing of­fi­cials of the Wildlife De­part­ment to make ar­range­ments to re­cruit 3,500 guards to pro­tect elec­tric fences to pre­vent hu­man-ele­phant con­flicts, Prime Minister Ranil Wick­remesinghe has also in­quired from of­fi­cials as to what has hap­pened to his in­struc­tions given to re­cruit elec­tric fence guards two years ago.

At the mini-cab­i­net meet­ing on Mon­day, Mr. Wick­remesinghe has told Min­is­ters that the de­struc­tion caused to the econ­omy, food production, ele­phants and humans have reached to an alarm­ing po­si­tion and strict and swift ac­tion has to be taken to pre­vent deaths of humans and ele­phants and the dam­age caused to prop­erty.

Mr. Wick­remesinghe has ex­pressed his dis­ap­point­ment for the fail­ure to re­cruit elec­tric fence guards as di­rected.

Wildlife De­part­ment re­ports in­di­cate that elec­tric fences are be­ing de­stroyed by ele­phants as well as humans and em­pha­size the need a mech­a­nism to pro­tect elec­tric fences.

The elec­tric fence guards are re­quired to keep a watch­ful eye on elec­tric fences and pre­vent dam­age caused to them by ele­phants or humans.

Hu­man–ele­phant con­flicts oc­cur when ele­phants raid crops and come to vil­lages in search of food. Be­tween 1999 to the end of 2006 each year nearly 100 wild ele­phants have been killed. Ele­phants are be­ing killed by farm­ers to pro­tect their crops and prop­erty.

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