Monthly Archives: August 2019

World Elephant Day

Posted on by Jaya

Jaya elephants 2We held an awareness day for World Elephant Day on August 12 with students from Nadigamwila’s Environmental Club and Dr Prithiviraj Fernando, one of Sri Lanka’s foremost elephant conservationists, who founded and runs the Centre for Conservation and Research (CCR).

The first stop was SRI’s office where I demonstrated how radio tracking aids conservation efforts, alongside one of Dr Fernando’s officers.

The students also learnt about human-elephant conflict, which is a big problem in Sri Lanka because villagers keep encroaching on home ranges to build new houses or plant crops. Each year this leads to the deaths of about 80 people and 250 elephants.

Elephants Yala 2 2We then got in two jeeps to travel to Yala National Park, which the students had not visited before even though it is on their doorstep.

We had lunch on the beach and then viewed a herd of elephants and two bull elephants that had been tagged.

The students were able to observe animal behaviour at close quarters.

Seeing other tourists taking photos from their jeeps was also very useful as it helped to show the students that elephants are a revenue generator for the country and not a nuisance for villages trying to expand in areas close to the park.