President Maithripala Sirisena has instructed relevant officials to allow the last two rare elephants to continue to remain at the Sinharaja forest reserve.
The President has instructed the Secretary to the Environment Ministry and the Director General of the Wildlife Conservation Department in this regard, the President’s Media Division said.
Authorities had planned to translocate the two elephants to the Horowpathana elephant protection centre, however environmental conservationists had vehemently opposed this move.
Chairman of the ‘Protect Sri Lanka’ national movement, Ven. Pahiyangala Ananda Sagara Thero, speaking at a press conference held in Colombo on Wednesday (13), had said that if the government follows through with that decision, the public will have to suffer the dangerous consequences.
He also claimed that UNESCO has notified Sri Lanka’s Department of Wildlife Conservation that the Sinharaja Forest Reserve will be at risk of losing its status as a World Heritage Site if the two wild elephants roaming the reserve are translocated.