Shooting of perahera elephant: Wildlife officer arrested.
A female elephant that had participated in the annual Esala Perahera of the Mahiyanganaya Rajamaha Viharaya has been injured after being shot by a Wildlife officer.
The officer in question is a Civil Defence Department officer attached to the Mapakada Wewa Wildlife Office.
The Mahiyanganaya Police has arrested the wildlife officer after being notified by the Basnayake Nilame of Sri Sumana Saman Dewalaya.
According to media reports, the Wildlife officer had fired at the female elephant after it was found with chains on the banks of the Mahaweli River, mistaking it for a wild elephant.
Issuing a statement on the incident, the Director General of the Wildlife Conservation Department, M.G.C. Sooriyabandara said that one of its officers had mistakenly fired rubber bullets at the female elephant ‘Sita’.
Sooriyabandara further said that the officer had taken the measure in an attempt to scare off the wild elephants in the vicinity.
The injured elephant is being treated by a veterinary surgeon of the Wildlife Conservation Department.