Around 200 die each year, mostly due to conflicts with humans, he says.
Natural causes claim around seven lives at most, according to him. An elephant has a life expectancy of around 80 years.Statistics show around two elephant deaths every three days, he says, adding that six tuskers died last year.Dr. Kariyawasam says the decline in forest cover of the country to around 16 per cent has lost elephant habitats. Also, human habitats have come up in elephant passes, forcing them to invade villages. The political authority has failed to solve this human-elephant conflict, he notes.
An elephant management policy introduced in 2008 proposed erecting a fence around a 50 km of forest area. Those who breach that were to be given to private owners. However, that is a plan not to protect elephants, but to sell them to private individuals, he added.