By Vyshnavy Velrajh
Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa today instructed the Director-General to the Department of Wildlife Conservation to launch an investigation into poaching in Sri Lanka.
Media Secretary to the Prime Minister Wijayananda Herath told the Colombo Gazette that the Prime Minister had issued the instructions during a telephone conversation today.
The Prime Minister issued the order following the death of another leopard which was reported in the Mapakanda area in Nawalapitiya yesterday.
Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa had advised the Director-General to the Department of Wildlife Conservation to effectively carry out their duties to prevent poaching of endemic animals.
The official was further instructed to draft measures that could prevent such activities in the future.
Wijayananda Herath further said that the Prime Minister had highlighted that it was the responsibility of the Government and people of the country to protect Sri Lanka’s Wildlife.
The Prime Minister had also called on the Department of Wildlife Conservation to implement necessary measures to arrest those involved in poaching in Sri Lanka.
Meanwhile speaking to the Colombo Gazette, the Director-General to the Department of Wildlife Conservation M.G.C. Sooriyabandara acknowledged the instructions issued by the Prime Minister.
He said relevant officials will be tasked with commencing an investigation into poaching in Sri Lanka, starting with the leopard death reported in Nawalapitiya yesterday.
A final report will be submitted to the Prime Minister following the conclusion of the investigations, Sooriyabandara said.
The leopard in Nawalapitiya was reported dead yesterday after getting trapped in snare attached to a tree.
A number of leopards, including rare black leopards, have been reported dead after being trapped in snares in the recent past.
Leopard deaths were reported from Pusselawa, Nallathanniya in Hatton, Neluwa, Kilinochchi, and the Udawalawe National Park over the past few months. (Colombo Gazette)