Elephant calves arriving at dusk to drink at the Weheragala reservoir tank in Wasgamuwa National Park can be particularly playful. But one day in September 2020, a lonely young elephant was spotted exhibiting uneasy behavior. After all the other members of its herd had gone back to the wilderness to retire for the night, this calf remained in the water. It appeared exhausted, and a closer inspection revealed why: its mouth had been severely mutilated, with saliva coming out of the swollen wounds. Unable to eat or drink, the calf died the next day.
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