Sri Lanka is blessed with a wide range of endemic species including Sri Lankan elephants. In fact, the density of Asian elephants in Sri Lanka is almost ten times that of any other country. Approximately 10% of the Asian elephant population lives on this small tear-shaped island. Hence, Sri Lanka offers unparalleled opportunities to observe Asian elephants.
Sri Lankan elephants are a cultural icon of Sri Lanka and are confined to the dry zone of the country. Although less than 7% of the male elephants in Sri Lankan bear tusks, even the male elephants with tusks are somewhat rare. But even with such a low percentage of tuskers, Sri Lankan elephants are still poached for their ivory.
However, they are under serious threat due to the human-elephant conflict that keeps on rising day by day because of forest encroachment and poaching. In such a situation, it is quite important to make elephant conservation a priority and work on sustainable yet long-term solutions to protect this majestic species.
Due to the heavy poaching of elephants, especially for their ivory (tusks), a vast majority of the species today do not carry genes for tusks. The potential solution could be selective breeding programs to regain the number of Sri Lankan elephants. But apart from breeding, the awareness among the general human population about the importance of elephants and the adversity of poaching is a must.
The Wildlife Department of Sri Lanka is working very hard to save and protect these species from any possible harm yet still some incidents are reported about elephant hunting and poaching. To overcome this kind of situation, the wildlife team is always ready to approach the trouble-facing elephants any time as soon as they are reported. The first thing the wildlife team does is relieve the animal from pain and then continue to provide the medications and treatments so that it may not get anxious due to intense pain. Restraining the elephants is another crucial step wherever necessary. However, the team knows how to deal with the elephants according to the current situation.