Former Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa has handed over two elephant calves to the Pinnawala elephant orphanage, Deputy Tourism Minister Wasantha Senanyake said yesterday.
He said the two calves, aged nine and three, were handed over to Pinnawala because Mr. Rajapaksa lacked resources to maintain them. The former defence secretary had obtained the elder calf in 2009 under a conditional agreement to take care of the animal. The second calf was given to him as a gift by former president Mahinda Rajapaksa through a presidential “Sannasa” (decree).
Mr. Senanayake said, however, the younger calf lacked proper documents and Wildlife Director General H.D Ratnayake had brought this to the notice of ex-defence secretary last year. The elephant was found in a temple before it was handed over to the then President.