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Person arrested over shooting of elephant “Sita” granted bail

Court decision

The Civil Defence Department officer who was arrested in relation to the shooting of a female elephant named “Sita” that had participated in the annual Randoli Perahera of Mahiyangana Rajamaha Viharaya has been granted bail this evening (September 30).

The Civil Defence Department officer in question who was attached to the Mapakada Wewa Wildlife Regional Office had shot an elephant named “Sita” at around 3:30 AM today (September 30) after mistaking it for a wild elephant that had crossed the river.

The mahout, who said he was having breakfast when the incident happened, accused the officer of shooting the elephant despite people telling him that “Sita” was not a wild elephant.

It was reported that following the procession, the female elephant had been tied to a tree on the banks of the Mahaweli River.

The injured 48-year-old elephant was later treated by veterinary surgeons of the Wildlife Conservation Department.

In a statement, the Director General of the Wildlife Conservation Department, M.G.C. Sooriyabandara had clarified that one of the wildlife officers at the site had mistakenly fired rubber bullets at the female elephant “Sita” while trying to scare off the wild elephants in the vicinity.

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