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* Sri Lankan Minister's name mentioned in baby elephant smuggling
Tue, Aug 12, 2014, 10:10 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Aug 12, Colombo: Investigations are underway regarding a Minister for his alleged involvement in smuggling an elephant calf.

The incident came to light when Matale police today arrested three persons who were transporting a three year old elephant calf in a lorry from Kandy to Minneriya.

The suspects failed to produce necessary legal permits required to transport and keep a baby elephant.

Meanwhile, the driver of the lorry in which the elephant was being transported has reportedly confessed that he has acted on the orders of a Minister who represents Kalutara district.

A lorry normally used for transporting wheat flour from Trincomalee to Kandy has reportedly been used to transport the elephant calf.

The elephant calf was not healthy and sent to the custody of wildlife office of Minneriya elephant reserve.

The baby elephants have a high demand in the country although the government does not grant permission to capture them or to rear them.

Sri Lanka's environmental organizations say powerful individuals like politicians are behind the illegal capture of wild elephant calves and the law is not implemented properly due to this reason.

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