If you are a routine visitor of our channel, the concept of elephant translocation must be familiar. However, if you are not, this will be another chance to have an understanding of elephant translocations in Sri Lanka and why Sri Lankan wildlife authorities must do it. The footage is from an actual elephant translocation handled by the department of wildlife and conservation of Sri Lanka.
It is believed that Sri Lanka is home to over 7000 Asian Elephants and is the densest Asian elephant population in the world. With a population of near 22 million people and a land area of just over sixty-five thousand square kilometers, the land area available for elephants is limited.
Hence, it is a common issue that elephants and humans get into conflict over food, space, and shelter in Sri Lanka. The Humans-elephant conflict is a burning issue for several decades in the country. Even though many steps were taken to mitigate this issue, with time, this problem only got worse.
According to an article published in Gajah in 2020, a journal that is dedicated towards Asian elephant management and conservation, the annual elephant deaths in 2010, which was 227, had risen to 405 by 2019! Showing a similar trend, human deaths due to the human-elephant conflict too have increased within the past decade. With the rising human population density, the limited land available on the island has to be used for essential human activities such as food production and residence. This in turn, makes humans invade the land regions preoccupied with the elephant community. Elephants are herbivores with a preference for most of the commonly cultivated crops. Therefore, cultivated lands are usually being raided by elephant herds.The outcome of such conflicts or interactions is losses to both parties, and in extreme cases, either of them has to pay with their lives.
To control these never-ending conflicts, the Department of Wildlife conservation and various other governmental and non-governmental organizations have formulated solutions. One such solution is the use of electric fences to prevent the entry of elephants. As elephants are intelligent animals, it is hard to stop these giants just by an electric fence. Therefore, other options such as elephant drives and elephant translocations were used. Elephant drives are mainly directed towards elephant herds, and translocation is mostly for loner elephants who are males.
The translocation process is done by moving the elephant to a much safer forest reserve with fewer interactions with humans. Thereby, it is anticipated to be beneficial for both the elephant and humans.
We Hope you obtained an idea of what elephant translocation is and why we need to do it. If you need to learn more on elephant translocations, why not check our other videos on it.