Probe into Udawalawe Mugalan’s killing | Sunday Observer

Probe into Udawalawe Mugalan’s killing

Wildlife Conservation Department officials have launched a probe into the killing of a tusker in the Udawalawe National Park.

A young tusker, Mugalan, who frequented the Udawalawe National Park was found dead on the reserve’s boundary yesterday morning following gunshot injuries to his forehead. Another gunshot wound was also observed close to one of his ears.

“We reported the incident to the courts,” Wildlife Director General Chandana Sooriyabandara said adding that the Udawalawe Police had begun an investigation on the incident.

Wildlife Department sources said Mugalan is believed to have left the reserve and roamed into a village where it was shot by a man prior to making his way back to the National Park. The tusker collapsed due to shock and bleeding.

The tusker, around seven foot tall and between 10 - 12 years, had a habit of roaming close to the fence and had often been chased back to the forest reserve by officials, Director-General Sooriyabandara said.

The Wildlife Department comes under heavy criticism by Environmentalists and the public with the latest tusker death a year after the killing of tusker Dala Puttuwa. 

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