Playful pachyderm


For travellers journeying along the Habarana – Polonnaruwa road, a friendly elephant from a nearby jungle that waits on the roadside for food has turned into the latest attraction and has even boosted business in the area.

Apart from causing a few traffic blocks the elephant has not harmed anyone and passers-by frequently feed the animal. Residents in the area said the elephant living in the jungle near the temple, which is frequented by devotees and travellers initially approached the road side to eat coconuts.

"We have made several attempts to drive the animal into the Minneriya park. But within hours the animal is seen back on the road," said an official at the Park. He also said assistance is at some times sought to keep the animal away from the road when it causes traffic blocks, but otherwise those passing by enjoy the scene and try to feed the elephant. The constant feeding of the Devale langa aliya by travellers has boosted roadside business while the animal’s favourite food has been identified as bread, wade, dosi, rotti, buns and plantains. "We are having good business because of the elephant,"an employee at a road side shop remarked.

Related Video: Playful pachyderm

"The elephant drinks water from the nearby tube well which is pumped by the villagers. However if there is no one around the elephant pumps the tube well alone and drinks water," a resident in the area said.
He said so far no problems had arisen, but villagers are worried that other elephants would get used to the site as well.

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Playful pachyderm


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