One Elephant a Day: Sri Lanka Wildlife Conflict Deepens as Death Toll Rises

On average one elephant has died each day in Sri Lanka in the first three months of this year, with nearly half of those deaths due to human causes. This escalation of the perennial problem of human-elephant conflict on the island has prompted calls for urgent solutions to save this endangered and iconic species.

Sri Lanka’s Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC) recorded 151 deaths of Sri Lankan elephants (Elephas maximus maximus) between Jan. 1 and April 28. Of these, at least 67 were due to human intervention, including shooting deaths (38) and electrocution caused by electric fences (23).

Six elephants died after eating so-called jaw bombs, improvised explosive devices concealed in food bait that detonate when bitten. The devices are used by farmers to keep animals from their crops.

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