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Sri Lanka monk demands capture of wild elephants for temples

Published on Mar 26, 2014 6:23 PM
Owners of tamed elephants take part in a march mounted on elephants to the Ministry of Wildlife Conservation in Colombo March 26, 2014. The owners joined the march on Wednesday to demand tuskers under an animal exchange programme with other countries and more permits for tamed elephants, as the number of such animals had decreased drastically in recent years. --PHOTO: REUTERS

COLOMBO (AFP) - A Sri Lankan Buddhist monk led a procession of elephants Wednesday, demanding authorities capture wild pachyderms from the jungle to boost the dwindling number of the animals in temples.

Patron of the Tamed Elephant Owners' Association, monk Maagalkanday Sudaththa said temples faced a severe shortage of animals for their annual pageants where caparisoned elephants are paraded.

"There are only 130 tamed elephants in the country and only about half them are actually available for temple parades," said the monk, who led some two dozen elephants from parliament to the wildlife office a short distance away.

"We want the authorities to capture wild elephants and tame them for our cultural purposes," the monk told AFP.

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