PM instructs Wildlife Dept. to recruit guards
To protect electric fences
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.