Elephant killings in Sri Lanka anger pop star and animal rights activist Cher


ECONOMYNEXT – Famed American pop singer Cher took to Twitter over the weekend to react to last week’s report that Sri Lanka was leading the world in elephant killings.

The musician turned animal rights activist posted a series of impassioned tweets responding to various parties about the news while also highlighting other alleged elephant abuses.

Cher was instrumental in securing the release of Kaavan, dubbed the world’s loneliest elephant, from a zoo in Pakistan. Kaavan was a diplomatic gift Sri Lanka made to Pakistan in 1985. He spent the last 35 years in what the BBC has called a barren, substandard zoo enclosure in Islamabad. Since his mate Saheli died in 2012, Kaavan had been living there in isolation, until he was moved to a wildlife sanctuary in Cambodia where he will roam freely with a herd of local elephants. According to the BBC and other reports, Cher paid for the legal team to secure Kaavan’s release from the Islamabad zoo.

Last week, a parliamentary committee in Sri Lanka heard that 407 elephants were killed over the past 12 months as a result of the human-elephant conflict. This was a significant increase from the previous annual average of 272. The alarming number earned Sri Lanka the dubious ranking of the world’s number one killer of wild elephants, and EconomyNext’s report on the matter spraked outrage on social media, eventually picked up by Cher and her followers on Twitter.

Sri Lanka also ranked number two globally where humans have died in conflict with wild elephants.

The Committee on Public Accounts (COPA) had ordered a special audit into the human-elephant conflict by head of the Centre for Conservation and Research Dr Prithiviraj Fernando.

COPA chair Prof Tissa Vitharana reflecting the opinion of the other members of the committee instructed the Wildlife Department and other associated bodies to come up with a plan as whatever has been done over the past sixty years has only served to exacerbate the conflict. (Colombo/Dec14/2020)





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  1. Successive governments since independence in 1948 have indulged the land hunger of an essentially rural population and given it land without any plan or logic. Now, nothing short of re-location of those people will provide anything resembling a solution to what’s called a “human-elephant conflict”.

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