The Department of Wildlife has decided to deploy mobile vehicles to prevent attacks from wild elephants along the Buttala-Kataragama Road to ward off wild elephants.
The Ministry of Wildlife said the attention of the Ministry of Agriculture, Wildlife and Forest Resources Conservation has been directed to news items published via media and social media related to incidents of wild elephant attacks on vehicles along the Buttala-Kataragama road.
Subject Minister Mahinda Amaraweera advised the Director General of Wildlife to launch a short-term programme promptly to prevent such incidents.
Accordingly, from 5am to midnight during the past four days, officers and vehicles of the Yala Galge Forest Site Office were deployed to drive wild elephants away from the Buttala-Kataragama Road and to prevent accidents using mobile vehicles.
Director General of the Department Chandana Sooriyabandara said the Department reached a decision to continue the programme.
The Department noted that damages caused by wild elephants have increased due to the public travelling in vehicles feeding wild elephants and elephants becoming accustomed to such practices continue to wander along roads.
Accordingly, the Director General said aside from the Buttala-Kataragama Road, this practice takes place in Udawalawa, and Habarana adding that wildlife officers have been informed to arrest groups that feed wild elephants including individuals who provoke wild elephants.