The Wildlife Department spends Rs. 2,800 million annually to provide free repellents to drive wild elephants away from vulnerable farmlands and villages.

This came to light at a discussion between subject minister Mahinda Amaraweera and ministry officials recently.

Around 1.4 million elephant repellents required per year are bought from local fireworks manufacturers.

When told about wild elephant invasions, wildlife officials said, they are deterred by practical difficulties from visiting the spots on time due to the current fuel restrictions.

They noted that due to the increase in prices of raw materials, they may have to spend more than what they currently do to procure elephant repellents.

According to the last elephant census in 2011, the population of elephants in Sri Lanka is 5,879.

In 2020, the human-elephant conflict claimed the lives of 327 wild elephants and 113 people.

 

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