· The team has traversed the entire north-eastern, northern and north- western boundaries of the UWNP, and met more than 100 villagers and sensitized them towards what we are doing. We have shown them identi-kit photos of Raja, and given them calling cards, with our RAJA hotline, to inform us of any sightings.
· There definitely appears to be two areas of ‘elephant hot spots’. One is in the western side around the Galpaya /Panahaduwa area. The other is the North/North-eastern side ranging from Kalthota / Rathabalagama/Illukpelessa/Aluthwewa areas.
· There have been about 6 different reported sightings ( from the hotline) of tuskers, more from the North/North Eastern side, where it seems to be fairly certain that there are two tuskers around.
· We hope to intensify our search in the Northern area next week , and stay for several nights at a stretch in areas, where sightings have been reported, and do some night tracking as well.
· It is not going to be an easy task…it’s like looking for a needle in a haystack.
· But there appears to be fairly reliable sightings of what could be Raja in the past 6 weeks. This gives us some hope. We are keeping our fingers crossed that we will get a breakthrough soon…until then it’s a hard grind.