Nimal Wijesinghe - Anuradhapura additional district group corr.
The Wildlife Department urge the public to complain or send information about those who are setting traps mainly including the explosive Hakkapatas for wild elephants to the wild life officials.
A Wildlife Department spokesman told the Daily News that in 2012 alone 35 wild elephants, most of them baby elephants, died due to the mouth injuries caused by the explosions of Hakkapatas in the mouth.
The wild elephants death toll due to Hakkapatas in Anuradhpaura wildlife zone in the past six months has been six.
It is reported that the villages in Padaviya, Kebithigollewa and Mahawilachchiya areas used to practice this method to harm the wild elephants. This year up to end of May about 14 wild elephants had died due to Hakkapatas . The Hakkapatas is made by concealing various kinds of explosives such as gun powder, tightened with small iron balls etc inside a pumpkin, gourd or melon. The wild elephants mainly, baby elephants used to play with these balls and when put inside the mouth it would explode thus causing fatal injuries inside, and these animals face a tragic death.
It is learned that mostly villagers in Anuradhapura, Kantale, Welikanda, Trincomalee, Udawalawa divisions practice the Hakkapatas.