June 14, Colombo: A report by the Department of Wildlife Conservation has confirmed that 55 people have lost their lives and 158 wild elephants have been killed across Sri Lanka in the past six months due to human-elephant conflict.
Of those, 36 wild elephants have been killed from electrocution, 28 from explosive baits called “Hakka Patas”, 15 from gunshot wounds, and 45 from unknown causes. The other elephants have died of contracting diseases, accidents, falling into cultivation wells and natural causes.
This year, there is a surge in elephant deaths from electrocution by electric fences the farmers have erected to protect their crops from elephants.
Annually, nearly 400 elephants and 50 people are killed in human-elephant conflict incidents in Sri Lanka.