By Nirmala Kannangara
High ranking wildlife officials have allegedly removed the elephant registration book from the Department of Wild Life Conservation (DWLC) in fear of an ongoing investigation on an illegal elephant registration racket, claim environmentalists.
The elephant registration book which has all the data of registered elephants in the country is alleged to have been tampered with since of late in order to register illegally captured baby elephants.
An immediate investigation was ordered when Wild Life Minister Vijith Wijayamuni Soyza was informed of this ongoing racket.
In fear of a possible revelation, the elephant registry had gone ‘missing’ but was later found within the department premises when the matter was informed to the CID.
Wildlife officials involved
“There are 23 illegal baby elephants in the country that have been captured from the wild and are waiting for registration.
Although there are no laws in the country to register illegal elephants, it came to light that some higher wildlife officials got few of them registered by tampering with the elephant registry. When this was brought to the notice of the Wild Life Minister, instructions were given to hold an investigation immediately. Following these instructions, the elephant registry mysteriously went missing but was later found within the premises. This has raised many eyebrows,” said Director Operations, Environmental Foundation Limited (EFL), Vimukthi Weeratunge. More....