Four elephants lost their lives in a tragic collision with a night mail train en route from Kankasanturai to Colombo. The incident occurred in the vicinity of Ambanpola, where the railway department reported the unfortunate accident that transpired during the late hours of the night. As of August 2023, approximately 250 elephants have lost their lives in Sri Lanka. On average, this equates to more than one elephant per day falling victim to various causes.

The collision has raised concerns about wildlife safety, human-elephant conflict, and the need for enhanced conservation efforts in Sri Lanka.

In 2022, Sri Lanka documented 14 elephant fatalities resulting from accidents involving trains.

In 2022, Sri Lanka recorded its highest-ever elephant deaths at 433, primarily attributed to the Human-Elephant Conflict (HEC), which also claimed 145 human lives. Gunshots became the leading cause, causing 58 elephant deaths, ‘hakka patas’ or jaw bombs, which caused 55 deaths. Other factors included electrocution (47), trains (14), accidents (5), and poison (1). This alarming trend calls for urgent action to address HEC and protect both elephants and humans.