youtube instagram twitter facebook

Monday, 22 May 2017 05:09

Wildlife Official shoots wild elephants! FROM PROTECTOR TO EXECUTIONER

The Wildlife and Nature Protection Society (WNPS) has expressed a strong protest on the shooting of a wild elephant by wildlife officials as an act of alleged self-defense.

"As the oldest conservation organization of its kind, the founder of the initial National Parks and prime instigator in the setting up of the Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC), this act of needless destruction of a nationally protected species by those who should be protecting them counters every principle of conservation on which these institutions were established," a WNPS news release said.

"Over the last few days, the Press and Social Media have had extensive coverage of the shooting of an elephant in Omanthai, Vavuniya, after a group of four had been rescued from an open, agrarian well into which they had fallen. The available video coverage of the incident clearly shows that at no time was human life in danger during the incident, and the need to shoot the elephants dead, rather than just frighten it away as has been done before, is called into question."

The statement said the video also shows another elephant being shot at and falling, though the DWC claim that only one died. The DWC is the main statutory agency set up for the protection of all wildlife, including elephants. If they have now taken to shooting the animals they are supposed to protect, then an already endangered species is doomed to extinction.

While it is learned that both the DWC and Ministry of Wildlife & Sustainable Development have each instigated an inquiry into this killing, it is hoped that they will both be carried out with a degree of transparency that leaves nothing open for question, WNPS added.

"As per the available video footage of the incident, the ‘circus’ that surrounded these tragic killings, and might have contributed to the resulting ‘on-line’ killing, highlight the following, alarming, lapses in procedure, and gaps in the Law.

It is hoped that this tragedy will result in the DWC and the relevant Ministry commencing discussions and consulting the relevant elephant and legal experts to formulate a protocol to deal with such situations where the destruction of the animal will be the last resort, rather than the first, trigger happy choice. It is too late for this unfortunate victim but the world will be watching to see whether justice will prevail in her killing, and whether there is any hope for the conservation of the wild elephant under the present political and administrative institutions responsible for their protection, and under the Law, the statement concluded.