SRI LANKAN ELEPHANT population larger then expected
Elephas maximus maximus
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The first national survey of Sri Lanka’s wild elephants found more than had been estimated — a sign the endangered species has a healthy, growing population on the Indian Ocean island.
The count conducted last month in forests and wildlife parks found 5,879 wild elephants, of which 122 are tuskers and 1,107 calves, Wildlife Minister S.M. Chandrasena said Friday.
Previous counts did not cover the entire island, but the end of a quarter-century civil war in 2009 opened former war zones to wildlife workers.
The information gathered from the survey will be used to devise plans to protect the endangered species, Wildlife Department Director General H.D. Ratnayake said.
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