Census on elephants in Sri Lanka to also identify baby elephants for religious processions

Mon, Aug 8, 2011, 10:12 am SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

A Sri Lankan government minister says that calf elephants suitable for religious pageants (Peraheras) will be identified during the first ever elephant census to be conducted this week.

Agrarian Services and Wildlife Minister S.M. Chandrasena says that calf elephants that could carry caskets in peraheras would be identified during the census that will be held from Thursday (11) till Saturday (13).

The Minister has said the project has been initiated following a Presidential directive.

The baby elephants who would be identified for peraheras are to be tamed and handed over to the temples including the Dalada Maligawa.

Chandrasena has observed that while there were more than 300 tamed elephants in the country, it has now declined to around 150 of which only a few are tuskers.

According to the Minister, the government had the responsibility of ensuring the country’s traditions like Peraheras continue without any problem.

Meanwhile, all national parks in Sri Lanka where elephants roam will be closed during the census period to facilitate a correct elephant count.