The government is to create two large holding grounds in the north central and southern provinces for elephants, in an attempt to prevent human-elephant conflicts.
According to the Director- Wildlife Conservation Dept (WCD), Dr. C.V. Pathirana, 2,000 acres in Lunugamwehera and Horowpothana have been selected to hold elephants.
“The elephants would be allowed to roam freely throughout the holding grounds,” he said.
He said they will also make arrangements to attract tourists to these parks. Special watch-huts will be constructed for the tourists.
He said that, in Lunugamwehera, related construction, estimated at Rs 150 million for each holding ground, has already begun.
He explained that the Treasury and the WCD are to fund the projects, while part of the costs will also be recovered though tourism.
Dr Pathirana commented that the areas identified as the prospective holding grounds are uninhabited.
Since most of the ‘problem’ elephants are bulls, they will be tranquilised before being transferred to the holding grounds by truck, he said, adding that, reproduction of the elephants would be closely monitored.
The elephants would be confined to the holding ground by physical means such as electric and wooden fences, and canals built around the perimeter of the holding grounds.