Six elephants die after eating PLASTIC dumped at Sri Lanka rubbish landfill

Submitted by Archiver on Fri, 19/10/2018 - 05:39
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Anna Verdon

Six elephants have died after eating rubbish (Image: Newsflare)

Six elephants have died after eating PLASTIC that had been dumped at a landfill site in Sri Lanka.

Rubbish from nearby areas is taken to the dump in Deegawapi but has since attracted numerous wild animals - including birds, dogs and even now the elephants.

Many of these animals end up eating the toxic waste which has been left there - and so far as many as six elephants are known to have died as a result.

Drone footage filmed last Tuesday shows a herd of the magnificent creatures roaming around the rubbish dump.

As birds and dogs scavenge through the waste, the elephants can also be seen to be sifting through the mound and picking up the trash with their trunks and putting it in their mouths.

Wasantha Chandrapala, a freelance reporter in Sri Lanka, told the Daily Mail: "This is a daily routine in this area.

"It is truly heartbreaking to see the animals eating plastic and toxic chemical waste. This causes serious health issues in the animals who also fall sick. Some have even died."

Amparai wildlife officials are trying to protect the animals but as the dump is not fenced off it means the elephants come in each day to eat the rotten food laced with polyethylene and other chemicals.

Veterinary surgeon Dr Nihal Pushpakumara from the Department of Wildlife Conservation in Ampara has confirmed that six elephants have died as a result from eating the rubbish.

He also said their stomachs were found to be full of polythene.

Villagers in the town are calling for improvements to be made - not only to try and save the elephants but also to make sure they do not encroach on their farmland too.

And the Pradeshiya Sabha municipality has vowed to build a fence to keep them away from the landfill

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