Biggest tusker in Yala dies in fight with another

Thilak, the biggest tusker in the Yala National Park, died yesterday (14) afternoon following a fight with another tusker identified as ‘Thani Dalaya’. Veterinary surgeon Ananda Dharmakeerthi said Thilak had suffered fatal injuries to its stomach during the fight. Also one of the oldest elephants in the park, Thilak had been weak in its final years, said Dr. Dharmakeerthi who performed the inquest.

President of the veterinary surgeons association Dr. Vijitha Perera said fighting among elephants happened due to various reasons, mostly to attract attention of the females. The strong defeats the weak and gets the females’ attention, he said.

Tuskers in the Ruhuna are smaller in size to tuskers in other areas. History says Kadol, the tusker of King Dutugemunu, too, was one of them. But, less than 10 of them remain now, with Gemunu and Thilak being the most famous at Yala. According to a census conducted by the Department of Wildlife in 2011, the tusker population in Sri Lanka is around 120. But, several of them have died by now.

Rahul Samantha Hettiarachchi - Hambantota

   

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