Ministry orders inquiry over abandoned jumbo with gunshot injuries

The Wildlife Ministry yesterday ordered for an investigation into the incident where an elephant was found with gunshot injuries in Gomarankadawala, Trincomalee had been left without treatment by Wildlife Conservation Department officials claiming the injury was incurable.

Wildlife Deputy Minister Palitha Thewarapperuma told Daily
Mirror that this elephant was found with gunshot injuries in January, 2018 and the wildlife officials claimed that it could not be cured and had to let the animal die.

“The villagers did not allow that to happen and started treating and feeding the elephant daily. A village monk and some foreigners too had joined hands to this cause and raised funds to treat the wounded animal. Pathetically, the wildlife officials did not take any initiative to feed the pachyderm for the past five months until mid-May,” he said.

“The department’s medical personnel have only administered a few injections to the injured elephant,” he added.

“I got to know this issue from a villager when I posted on social media to revert to me about issues related to elephants in the country. I visited the place yesterday to inquire about it. The elephant was in a critical condition and it had a very rare chance of surviving. Such incidents should not happen in the future,” the deputy minister said.

He said that he had ordered the department to conduct an investigation into this matter and to take necessary action against its officials concerned.

Meanwhile, Wildlife Conservation Department Director General M.G.C. Sooriyabandara told Daily Mirror that he had ordered for an audit to probe into this incident in order to determine whether the department’s officials had neglected their duties. (Kalathma Jayawardhane)