Colombo (LNW): The civil defence officer who was arrested over the accidental shooting of a female elephant named ‘Sita’ has been granted bail today (30).
The officer from the Civil Defence Department working with the Mapakada Wewa Wildlife Regional Office was arrested for shooting ‘Sita’, a female elephant that had been part of the annual Randoli Perahera at Mahiyanganaya Rajamaha Viharaya.
The incident occurred at about 3:30 am this morning when the officer mistakenly identified ‘Sita’ as a wild elephant after she crossed the river.
Despite being informed by bystanders that ‘Sita’ was not a wild elephant, the officer proceeded with the shooting.
After being shot, 48-year old ‘Sita’ was tethered to a tree near the Mahaweli River, and received immediate medical attention from the Wildlife Conservation Department’s veterinary surgeons post-injury.
The officer in question had used rubber bullets aiming to deter wild elephants in the area, unintentionally injuring ‘Sita’, said Director General of the Wildlife Conservation Department M.G.C. Sooriyabandara.