50 wild elephants killed in Sri Lanka floods

Last Updated: Sunday, January 16, 2011 - 19:44

Colombo: Some 50 wild elephants have been
killed due to the devastating Sri Lankan floods, which has
displaced over a million people, according to the country`s
Wildlife Conservation Department.

Chandrawansa Pathiraja, the Director General of Sri
Lanka Wildlife Conservation Department, said around 50 wild
elephants have been reported killed due to floods.

He was quoted a saying by the ColomboPage online that
a survey has been commenced in wildlife parks to ascertain the
exact number of deaths of the wild elephants and other
animals.

Local media recently published photos of a corpse of a
baby elephant that was stuck between tree branches when it was
washed away in floods.

Several wild animals also believed to have been
perished due to floods.

Floods severely affected Lahugala, Somawathi,
Maduruoya, Kumana and Kavudulla wildlife parks.

A large number of cattle have also been reported
killed due to masssive floods.

United Nations Office for the Coordination of
Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported that livestock losses
will be significant, particularly in Batticaloa district, the
report said. The UN agency reported that 48,679 cattle, 22,279
goats, and 172,884 poultry have been lost.

More than a million people have been affected by the
flooding in Sri Lanka and at least 37 have died over a week of
devastation that has severely hit the centre and east of the
country, including areas already destroyed by a three-decade
civil war that ended in 2009.

Now the threat of water-borne diseases loomed with
water levels receding after the devastation caused by the
monsoon floods.

A large number of those displaced were those who had
only recently been resettled after decades of ethnic conflict
between Tamil Tiger rebels and government forces.

Both local and international aid agencies said the
water levels were rapidly going down with many people able to
go back to their homes to assess the damage.

The authorities are yet to assess the extent of
damage, but officials said vast tracks of rice and vegetable
farms were destroyed and livestock also badly affected.

UN agencies in the capital plan to issue an
international appeal for funding as providing relief for those
in the worst affected areas was becoming a serious challenge.

India responded quickly to Sri Lanka`s call for
assistance by sending a consignment of relief supply by an
special air craft.

Army, Navy and Air Force personnel are working round
the clock to provide water, food and shelter on a priority
basis to all flood victims.

PTI



First Published: Sunday, January 16, 2011 - 19:44

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