Galgamuwa Tusker and Poaching
"The Majestic Tusker of Galgamuwa."
The Galgamuwa Tusker was our most beloved wild tusker. We have spent weeks tracking and filming him, and as a memorial, we have produced this short 12 minute film. We are heartbroken. It is uncommon that a person actually knows the poached animal. Cecil the Lion was one, may he also rest in peace. The Galgamuwa Tusker is one of those...his poaching is taken personally by many many people. The perpetrators, including a local politician should be imprisoned for life, otherwise other opportunists will do the same.
China is building a "Maritime Silk Road," and it leads thru Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka's former president invited the Chinese to invest in Sri Lanka, via a new marina, airport and industrial center. Now president Sirisena is continuing to enable the Chinese to access Sri Lanka's resources. These resources include endangered animals. The Chinese consume everything, from dogs to elephants. A syndicate has now likely become established thru the frequent visitation by Chinese workers. This very likely resulted in the poaching of these tuskers. Ivory poaching was almost nonexistent in the past, and only a small numbers of wild tuskers remain.
Sri Lanka's cultural and natural heritage will be stolen, piece by piece. Who can stop the Chinese? Locals in Hambantota recently rioted over Chinese encroachment, and Sri Lanka's politicians arrested many. If the politicians really cared, they'd search out alternatives thru the U.N. or World Bank. Sri Lanka's tilting toward the East is not in the interest of any democracy.
Poaching for Elephant Skin - Myanmar
Smithsonian Reports New Poaching Problem in Myanmar! They radio collared 19 elephants this year and 7 of them were found dead. All were killed for their skin. Other reports are that one elephant is now poached every week. There are only 1,500 to 2,000 wild elephants left in Myanmar.
SavingGanesh.org participated in one of these radio collarings..
Note from Director Philip Price: We'd heard that skinning was an increasing problem, as Myanmar is now more open to the Chinese markets, but this is incredibly bad news. The deaths of the radio collared elephants proves the problem is way worse than thought. More than ever, the former logging elephants and their mahouts need to be re-tasked into anti-poaching patrols.
Note from Wildlife Biologist, Marija Minic: Agree 100% Philip... if the mahouts get working as anti-poaching rangers, maybe then Burma will eventually have the same amazing 0% poaching record that Nepal does (or did, don't know if they still do)! Here's to continually pushing for changes... I'm dedicated to making this happen as much as you are!!