Did tusker ‘Mahasen’ suffer same fate as ‘Dala Puttuwa’?
December 8, 2017 01:58 pm
Just days after the recent killing of the infamous Galgamuwa tusker, popularly known as the Galgamuwe “Dala Puttuwa”, had stirred controversy in the country, local environmentalists now claim that another renowned tusker is reportedly missing.
“Mahasen” is an equally rare tusker who roams the banks of the Minneriya reservoir, the sacred grounds of Somawathiya and has also been sighted frequently at the Minneriya National Park.
According to environmentalists, the giant cross tusker with a height of around 12 feet and tusks some six feet long, has reportedly disappeared as he was last spotted nearly 8 months ago.
They say that the endangered animal’s last sighting was reported at the Minneriya National Park, which is the home to a large elephant population.
The tusker has suffered from numerous gunshot injuries over the years. He was treated by personnel from the Giritale Veterinary Medicine Unit after being shot by a hunter awhile back.
Wildlife conservationists say that the tusker can usually be seen in Minneriya, Maduru-Oya, Somawathie and Kaudulla National Parks, but he has not been sighted in these places for the past 8 months raising concerns that ‘Mahasen’ too might have been the target of poachers.
Veterinarian Dr Tharaka Prasad, Director (Health) of the Wildlife Conservation Department, says that Mahasen visits the Minneriya National Park during the month of April every year and that he hasn’t been sighted for around 8 months.
He stated that Minneriya is not the natural habitat of the tusker and that he stays in Minneriya for around 2 months after arriving in April. He stated that Mahasen roams around Kaudulla, Somawathie, Maduru-Oya reserves and that it is difficult to spot a specific elephant in that vast forest area.
The Wildlife Department denies reports that the tusker Mahasen, sometimes referred to as “Kathira Dala Etha,” has disappeared and has possibly been killed for its valuable tusks.