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Sri Lanka tour operators fill waterholes in drought-hit wildlife park

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lankan tour operators have volunteered to deploy bowsers to fill dried up water holes at the north-western Wilpattu National Park where animals were suffering owing to a prolonged drought.

“The prevailing drought in the northern and central region of Sri Lanka has had an adverse effect on wildlife,” the Ministry of Tourism Development and Christian Religious Affairs said in a statement.

“One of the most affected areas has been identified as the Wilpattu National Park. As a result of the drought almost all of the waterholes in the park have gone dry causing great suffering to the animals inhabiting the park area.”

The critical situation and urgently required relief measures were discussed at a meeting between the Minister of Sustainable Development and Wildlife, Gamini Jayawickrema Perera, Minister of Tourism Development and Christian Religious Affairs, John Amaratunga, senior officials of the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority  and representatives of the Sri Lanka Association of Inbound Tour Operators (SLAITO).

SLAITO volunteered to fill up the dried up waterholes by transporting water in large bowsers in order to provide relief to the animals, the statement said.

It said 30 water bowsers could fill up the 8 water holes for a week.

It was also decided to strictly enforce zoning restrictions where tourists and other visitors will be allowed to only visit designated zones in the park. 
(COLOMBO, July 27, 2017)

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