The Bull Elephant Retention Center (The Holding Ground).
Arguably the largest facility of its kind in the world, at 2,500 acres.
The marauding elephants of Sri Lanka are no longer being translocated across island, but instead are being brought to this holding ground...perhaps for life. What are wildlife officials to do when it's been found that 8 out of 10 translocated elephants die within the first year after being translocated? When released far from their home range, they are determined to return home and are shot, poisoned, electrocuted and suffer horribly while trying. Beginning about 18 months ago, they're now relocated to the holding ground.
No place is safe, as three deaths of unknown origin have also occurred within the holding ground. There are other answers...we discuss this in our new film.
Leave The Elephants Alone is our primary recommendation. Farmers have lived within nature for thousands of years - why is the current generation so wimpy in dealing with it? Perhaps they are playing with the egos of the politicians. Local bullies and politicians love showing their power to their village mates and constituents, in essence saying "I am so powerful, at the snap of my fingers I can demand an elephant be tracked, captured and removed." Locals and politicians should hear this truth....removing a bull elephant from his habitat is to kill him. You mind as well put a gun to his head and shoot him yourself! These are elephant killing decisions. These are also the Kings of the Wild - you are killing the most magnificent of the species.
Resources must be provided to the vets and rangers of the DWC. They must have specialized teams that respond to encroaching elephants and push them back into the wilds and away from villagers. Also, you must remove farmers that are illegally squatting on forest lands and tell farmers bordering elephant habitat not to grow crops that are as candy to them. This is like putting bottles of liquor on the doorstep of an alcoholic - what result do you expect in such circumstance?
The world seems to have gone mad...common sense in no longer; egos are prevailing, but one thing remains constant...absolute power corrupts absolutely.
One last thing...put elephant killers into jail, while giving $5,000 reward to any person that turns in such criminals.
Our Recommendations (if the retention center is to be used in the future):
Land clearing will go a long way toward increasing available fodder for the elephants. There is too much invasive species and thorny shrubs present.
Bamboo seeding and the success India has had with aerial application. At the holding ground, bamboo seeding can be fairly easily conducted, by hand, after clearing has been completed.
The elephants we saw at the facility seemed to be carrying good weight, so perhaps food shortage is not an issue yet, but very likely will be a problem in the future as the stores of fodder are stripped over time. Bamboo can become established while in the interim period as the elephants consume existing vegetation.
Should a second holding ground be constructed, it may consist of a combination of trench and/or taller fence.
Yala can be used as a temporary holding ground for the most difficult bulls. The park already has a canal/moat with adjacent fence along one border. A corner, near to the canal/fence be expanded and enclosed in a very short period of time.