After two more elephants were discovered dead over the weekend, conservationists and vets are warning that plastic garbage in an open dump in eastern Sri Lanka is killing the animals.
Over the last eight years, moe than 20 elephants have perished after consuming plastic rubbish in a landfill in Pallakkadu village, in the Ampara district, about 210 kilometres (130 miles) east of Colombo.
Wildlife veterinarian Nihal Pushpakumara said that the examinations of those dead animals revealed they had consumed substantial amounts of nondegradable plastic found in the waste dump.
Because to the loss and degradation of their native environment, they are becoming increasingly endangered. Many try to get closer to human settlements in search of food, and others are killed by poachers or farmers enraged by crop damage.
Hungry elephants rummage through the rubbish, devouring plastic and sharp things that harm their digestive systems, Pushpakumara said.
“As a result, the elephants quit eating and become too weak to support their massive bodies.” When this happens, they are unable to consume food or drink, hastening their demise,” he explained.
“Polythene, food wrappers, plastic, various non-digestibles, and water were the only things we could see in the post mortems.” “There was no sign of elephants eating and digesting their typical meal,” he said.
Elephants are cherished in Sri Lanka, but they are also endangered. Elephant numbers have plummeted from over 14,000 in the 19th century to 6,000 in 2011, according to the country’s first elephant census.