Nov 16, Colombo: The Minister of Agriculture, Wildlife and Forest Resources Conservation, Mahinda Amaraweera has advised the Secretary to the Ministry of Wildlife Mrs. Chandra Herath to take necessary steps for the Dehiwala National Zoo to take care of the elephant Muthu Raja at the zoo.
The tusker Muthu Raja was a gift from Thailand to the former President Mrs. Chandrika Kumaranatunga in 2001 and she later handed over the elephant to the Aluthgama Kande Viharaya.
But it was later revealed that the elephant faced severe distress due to the inconsiderate behavior of the elephant keeper who was in charge of the elephant.
Therefore, the Thai ambassador to Sri Lanka took the Muthu Raja elephant from the Kande Viharaya and entrusted it to Dehiwala Zoo.
The elephant is now safe amid the care given by the staff of the Dehiwala Zoo.
As it was reported that the Thai ambassador to Sri Lanka has decided to take the Muthu Raja elephant back to Thailand, for veterinary care, the Minister of Agriculture, Wildlife and Forest Resources Conservation Mahinda Amaraweera today (16) had a long discussion with the Secretary of the Ministry, Mrs. Chandra Herath regarding the keeping of the tusker in this country.
Accordingly, the Minister advised the Secretary to discuss with the Thai Ambassador and take the necessary steps as the National Zoological Department has agreed to keep and take care of the Muthu Raja elephant in Dehiwala Zoo.
The Director General of the Zoological Department stated that the elephant is currently in a very good condition in the Dehiwala Zoo and the Thai Ambassador to Sri Lanka who visited the elephant was very happy with the steps taken to take care of Muthu Raja.