Colombo, July 1 (IANS): Sri Lanka’s Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC) said on Monday that it had initiated a programme to fit GPS collars on wild elephants in a bid to minimize the escalating human-elephant conflict prevailing across the island country.
The Department said that Sri Lanka had recorded a high number of elephant deaths in the past two years and environmentalists had raised serious concerns, reports Xinhua news agency.
Under the direction of DWC Director General M.G.C. Sooriyabandara, the programme was immediately implemented in the Uva province which was one of the worst areas affected by the human-elephant conflict.
The programme would soon be implemented in other parts of the island.
The government said the death toll from Sri Lanka’s human-elephant conflict hit a record high with over 375 people killed by wild elephants and over 1,100 elephants killed by humans within the last five years.
Official records show the population of wild elephants in Sri Lanka is estimated at 7,500.