Wildlife officers have encountered a severely disabled elephant calf in Mattala during an operation to drive away wild elephants in the Suriyawewa area in Hambantota.
Officers informed about the elephant calf to veterinarians at the Udawalawa Elephant Transit Home and later took the calf with them to the elephant transit home on their instructions.
Malaka Abeywardena, Secretary of the Wildlife Department Veterinarians’ Association said such disabilities were rare. Throughout the elephant transit home’s history, only two elephant calves with similar disabilities have been found from Anuradhapura and Ampara and taken to the elephant transit home. However, both calves had subsequently died while undergoing treatment.
Nevertheless, Dr Abeywardena said this particular elephant calf had remarkably surivived for almost a year by somehow suckling from its mother – a near impossible feat given the extent of its disability and injuries. The calf however, was in a very weak state and had become separated from its mother when wildlife officers found it. Dr Abeywardena said they will first try to treat infected wounds on the calf and later see if a surgery can be done to correct its disabilities.