About 108 elephants are being raised by private owners by the end of 2021, a research study in the Journal of the Asian Elephant Specialists Group has said.The survey was carried out by elephant-scientist Tharindu Muthukumarana of the Elephant Conservation Organization (ECO).Muthukumarana told The Island that this survey did not include elephants from orphanages, zoos, etc. In Sri Lanka, censuses on captive elephants have been carried out since 1946. Nine such surveys have been conducted apart from this year’s survey that conservationists consider controversial.
Muthukumarana said that in 2021 a total of 108 elephants were being raised in captivity; they consisted of 72 males and 36 females. Among males there were 18 tuskers. There were also 72 elephant owners in the country. The captive elephants can be found in the following 12 districts; Badulla – 6, Colombo – 18, Gampaha -16, Hambantota – 1, Kalutara – 7, Kandy – 18, Kegalle – 14, Kurunegala – 7, Matara – 5, Moneragala – 5, Polonnaruwa -1 and Ratnapura – 10.