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    The Human Elephant Conflict rages on


‘The Gathering’ 

The HEC subcommittee has facilitated a special series of meetings, aptly titled ‘The Gathering’, for like-minded organisations, to discuss the present plight of the elephant and to decide on shared strategies to prevent their further elimination. The first of these took place on 12th of August, to coincide with International Elephant Day, and was specifically focused on the situation in Minneriya. Over 25 organisations participated online, and they were apprised of the current situation by Dr. Sumith Pilapitiya, Dr. Prithiviraj Fernando, Mr. Srilal Miththapala, Mr. D. Abeysiriwardena - Director of Irrigation, and Mr. Dhanapala - the Chair of the Water Management Committee.


Key issues identified from “The Gathering area” included the water levels in Minneriya, which were gradually increasing from 2019 onwards, and seem to correlate with the reduction in elephant numbers during the ‘The Gathering’ months. With Minneriya being around 88% full in September 2021, the elephant numbers had reduced to a mere 20 elephants at the peak of the Gathering. 


Read the full article on “Working together to try and save ‘The Gathering’”  here  and the Sinhala article can be read by clicking here


We would like to thank Colombo Jewellery Stores for sponsoring this event and for their continued commitment towards elephant conservation and partnering WNPS. In addition, the WNPS in planning to commence research studies to analyze the body conditions of elephants through surveys in Minneriya and Kaudulla, under the supervision of Dr. Sumith Pilapitiya and one of his PhD students. This study will be helpful for better understanding the ground conditions and correlations with the numbers of elephants present during the "Gathering".