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    Govt. to recruit 200 more wildlife officers

    October 21, 2014

    Wildlife Resources Conservation Minister Gamini Wiith Wijayamuni Zoysa told Parliament today (21) that there was a shortage in the number of wildlife officers and a competitive examination had been held to recruit 200 new cadres to the Department of Wildlife Conservation.

     

    Minister Zoysa responding to a query raised by UNP Matara District MP Buddhika Pathirana said that around 60-70 persons killed annually as a result of human-elephant conflict. Around 250 elephants die every year owing to various reasons. “Some of them die because of Hakka Patas (a locally-made small explosive device usually hidden in animal fodder), some others die falling into traps. Some of them killed on rail tracks knocked down by trains. We have taken action to minimize them. Action has been taken to recruit 200 more officers to work on projects to reduce the number of human-elephant conflict incidents.  The use of Hakka Patas could not be seen in Moneragala or Hambantota Districts. In some areas it had been noticed that people put up unauthorized electric fences but action has been taken to prevent such activities,” the minister said.

     

    Minister Zoysa said that the main reason for the human-elephant conflict was due to pachyderms coming out of the jungles owing to lack of food. Officials of the Department of Wildlife Conservation were in the progress of taking measures to remove invasive plants and increase the number of plants that could be animal fodder inside the jungles to prevent the elephants coming to villages in search for food.

     

    Speaker Chamal Rajapaksa said that there were some problems from elephants for people in Hambantota district and instructed the minister to look into them.(Special Reporter)

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