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 Post subject: Three wild elephants fall victim to ethnic conflict
 Post Posted: Thu Feb 09, 2006 3:02 am 
Three wild elephants fall victim to ethnic conflict

By Damitha Hemachandra
@ DM / 09Feb2006


The three elephants which were badly injured by landmines last Monday died yesterday in the LTTE-controlled Wanni due to the lack of medical attention, the Tamil website Puthinam reported yesterday.

The Wildlife Department’s rescue mission to save the three elephants came to a dead end after the elephants moved into the LTTE-controlled area.

Wildlife Deputy Director Tharaka Prasad said the three injured elephants had moved away from their original location, which was between an Army and an STF camp near the forward defence line inside LTTE-controlled area thus making it difficult for the Department’s veterinary team to locate the elephants.

“We were initially informed about the injured elephants from Army sources and ICRC officials offered to escort us to the spot”, Dr. Prasad said adding that later the veterinary team changed its plans as the ICRC refused to allow the STF to accompany the team.

According to the ICRC the decision was taken since its officials do not travel under armed escort while the veterinary surgeons had refused to enter the LTTE-controlled area without either the Army or the STF protection.

“We had no option but to suspend the rescue mission until the elephants re-entered the Government-controlled area and we urged the Army to keep us informed should it happen”, Dr. Prasad said.

A female elephant and two baby elephants were badly injured and groaning in pain, according to residents.

Reacting to this incident caused by the lack of medical attention, animal rights activists urged the Government and the LTTE to workout a system whereby a similar emergency could be urgently attended to on humanitarian grounds.

Dr. Prasad said on an average, two elephants die each year due to landmine injuries while many more are rescued and added that many instances of landmine injury go undetected and unreported.


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