Extensive investigation over dead leopard in Mau Ara

A special investigation was carried out in the Udawalawe National Park in search of poachers. The operation was launched after the remains of a leopard was found in the vicinity of the Mau Ara reservoir near the Udawalawe National Park.

The Police Special Task Force together with the wildlife officers have commenced this extensive investigation in the Udawalawe National Park. The STF said the operation was carried out since yesterday.

Meanwhile, zoologists point out, over the past 6 years, that more than 100 Leopards were killed. Although there are sufficient laws in place to protect wildlife, animals still live in danger due to such laws not being enforced and the various myths and human beliefs.

Environmentalist, Nayanaka Ranwella says that they are yet to identify the leopards and that there are three black leopards also included in those killed. He further says, “we observe two main reasons for hunting these animals. One is for their skin and the other is for their teeth and nails. There is a myth revolving around these body parts and therefore, there is a market for these products. This is nothing but a myth. There is no evidence that the law is being enforced against such crimes.”

Against a backdrop where the Department of Wildlife Conservation is being accused of not enforcing such laws to protect wildlife in the proper manner, News 1st attempted to contact the Director-General of the department. However, all attempts proved futile.

Meanwhile, MP Wimalaweera Dissanayake said that they have launched this operation to identify and arrest the individuals who committed this crime and that the Police Special Task Force is also currently supporting the wildlife officers.

He further says; “we are disappointed with the fact that we were not able to protect these animals, despite having sufficient laws in place to protect wildlife. We lack facilities and human resources to carry out operations to protect animals. This was the same response I gave in the 1970s. Even after 50 years, I am saying the same thing. We must find a solution to this matter within the next few weeks.”

Against such a backdrop where reports surface about animals being killed due to various myths and beliefs, why hasn’t the mystery behind the death of 6 elephants in September last year, yet to be uncovered.

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