The Wildlife Conservation Department today carried out a raid on a house at Gemunu Mawatha in Erawwala on information from the public that the owner of the house was in possession of five baby elephants without licences.
However during investigations the officials found only one baby elephant in the garden. The owner produced a permit issued by the Wildlife Conservation Department in 2008 to keep the baby elephant.
The owner claimed that the baby elephant had been registered in his father’s name in 2008 when it was five years old and four feet tall.
Meanwhile, Wildlife Conservation Western Province Asst. Director W.A.A.D.U Indrajith who visited the scene and examined the baby elephant said it was now 4 feet 10 inches tall. He said normally the growth of a baby elephant was 3.5” a year and that the age and the height of this baby elephant were in question. He said the permit issued in 2008 had expired in December 2013 but the department that lost the register of elephants had given a grace period till March 26, 2014 to renew the permits. He pointed out that the permit for the baby elephant was still valid and that the department was not in a position to take further action without a court order. He said he would submit a report in this regard to the Kesbewa magistrate. He said he suspected that other baby elephants might have been taken to some other location.
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