Human-Elephant Conflict (HEC) has been prevailing almost all over the world, especially in Sri Lanka. It has become a frequent phenomenon in the last few decades. With increasing civilization and industrialization, man needs more land to use. the major drawback and the affected areas of land due to this manly need are forests and wildlife habitats.
As you can see in this video, these elephants have invaded the village in Anuradhapura Sri Lanka. It is quite obvious with the behavior of these elephants that they are enjoying themselves while playing in the water. But, the main question is, why did they enter the village?
And the answer is quite simple. Due to the destruction of their own habitat and lack of food and water, they might be wandering here and there in search of food and water and ultimately entered the village where they found crops and water to consume and enjoy.
Elephants hold cultural, economic, and symbolic importance in Sri Lanka. They have been contributing an important part to human lives in many ways. They help drag the broken logs as support to logging operations, have special value in religious events, and most importantly, attract thousands of tourists who visit Sri Lanka every year.
As a result of the Human-Elephant Conflict in Sri Lanka, almost 200-250 elephants die annually while 60-80 humans lose their lives. Besides the lives of both humans and elephants, the crop and property losses exceed USD10 million every year. The forests in Sri Lanka are a quite suitable habitat for elephants and for this reason, almost 4000 – 5000 Asian elephants are present there. However, to mitigate the Human-Elephant Conflict, various techniques like electric fences, elephant drives, etc. are used but all in vain.
Wild life department is an animal welfare team that works for the safety and security of elephants in Sri Lanka. Whenever they receive any information about elephants in trouble, the team arrives and helps the innocent animals professionally to get over the situation. Whenever needed, the team provides first aid or even relocates the elephants considering their safety and security. Since Asian elephants found in Sri Lanka are endangered species, the team Wild life department is fully committed to saving more and more individuals of this species so that they can further breed and the population may reach a safe limit once again.
The Sri Lankan subspecies are Asia’s darkest and largest elephants having patches of depigmentation on their face, ears, trunk, and belly. But unfortunately, their population is declining at a quick rate due to deforestation leading to disruption of their ancient migratory routes. Since they do not find the old routes, they get lost and ultimately enter the human populace thereby causing damage to crops, property, and sometimes human lives as well.
The man fails to understand that clearing the habitat of animals will simply lead them to wander here and there in search of food, water, and shelter. Similarly, the most important threat to Sri Lankan elephants is deforestation. On the other hand, the elephants’ preference for crops like bananas, sugarcane, and some other fruits count as a plus for their entrance into human-populated areas. To stop elephants from entering the human population, we need to stop demolishing their habitat and food sources.