A total of 399 elephants have died in the month of October, and the majority of them due to human-elephant conflicts and many deaths related to shooting incidents, the Wildlife Conservation Department said.

Department’s Publicity Officer Hasini Sarathchandra said that a significant number of wild elephants have died due to natural causes as well.

Accordingly, 74 elephants died due to gunshots, 47 due to electrocution, 39 due to the use of Hakkapatas, three due to poisoning, 19 due to train accidents, one elephant died due to a road accident, four due to falling into cultivation wells, and 15 due to various other incidents, the publicity officer said.

She said the remaining deaths were reported due to natural causes, such as ageing and natural disasters.

2022 is the year where the highest number of elephant deaths were reported, and it was 439, she said.

“Considering the current situation, there is a high possibility of recording a higher number of elephant deaths in Sri Lankan history when compared with 2022,” Hasini Sarathchandra added.

-daily mirror