Search continues for remains of tusker killed by poachers

29 November 2017 - 155   - 0

A search launched to find the buried remains of famed tusker 'Galgamuwe Dala Poottuwa' continued for a fourth day today (29). 

Officers from the Department of Wildlife Conservation, police and environmentalists searched a newely bulldozed plot of land along the bund of the Galhitiyawa Tank in Herathgama, Galhitiyawa yesterday but were unable to find any traces of the tusker, who has been confirmed as having been killed by poachers. 

The 'Galgamuwe Dala Poottuwa' was a popular wild tusker, whose distinctive tusks and reputation for being harmless had endeared him to people of the area. He had lost the sight of one eye reacently and was last seen alive limping after suffering a gunshot wound. 

Officers from the Walana Anti-Vice Squad arrested two persons on November 23 from Nikawewa while in possession of two tusks. Upon closer examination, wildlife officers identified the tusks as having belonged to the Dala Poottuwa.

Investigations had revealed that one of the suspects was a local Grama Niladhari while the other, his brother-in-law, was a police officer who had been interdicted. 

Residents of the area blame authorities for allowing the tusker to fall victim to poachers, noting no action was taken to protect the animal despite numerous threats to his life from poachers. 

By Hiran Priyankara Jayasinghe in Puttalam 

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