The highest number of elephant deaths in the world due to the human elephant conflict annually reported is in Sri Lanka, the Committee on Public Accounts (COPA) was informed this week.

Sri Lanka also  ranks second in reporting the highest number of human deaths due to human-elephant conflict in the world whilst India holds the first rank.

Dr. Prithiviraj Fernando, a specialist in human-elephant conflict, explained the above at the Committee held on the basis of the Special Audit Report on the Elephant-Human Conflict in Sri Lanka.

Even though the average number of elephant deaths due to human-elephant conflict in Sri Lanka is 272 per year, 407 elephants have died during the past year, said Committee chairman Prof. Tissa Vitarana.

It was also revealed that although the average number of human deaths due to human-elephant conflict is 85 per year, 122 people have died during the past year.

Vitarana and other members emphasised  the need for the Wildlife Department and other relevant agencies to work together on a more efficient program to resolve the human-elephant conflict in Sri Lanka, which has now become a serious problem.

He also said that despite 60 years of efforts to resolve the human-elephant conflict, no significant progress had been made and that a new approach was needed to find a solution.