Fri. Jan 21st, 2022

An aerial shot of wild elephants for food in an open landfill.  Bird circle above.

Wild elephants sweep for food at an open landfill in Pallakkadu, Sri Lanka on January 6, 2022.
Pictures: Achala Pusalla (AP)

Are wild elephants Infamous intelligent creatures Known for its unparalleled performance Empathy In the animal kingdom. But humanity has put elephants in some difficult places, and none could be tougher than the Sri Lankan landfill.

A flock of endangered Asians There are elephants It has been searched for food for years, and at least 20 people have died from eating plastic. Sadly, two more endangered gentle monsters have been reported to have died as a result of eating scrap human waste dumped last weekend.

As the Associated Press Report, The landfill is located near the village of Pallakkadu in the eastern part of the country. In an AP interview, a veterinarian said the two dead elephants swallowed large amounts of polythene, food wrappers and other plastic. To make matters worse, there was usually no sign of elephant food in their bodies.

According to the AP, degradation of elephants’ natural habitat has forced them to move closer to humans and their landfills. Desperate for food, the elephants enter the landfill to test their luck. But doing so puts Asian elephants at risk of eating non-edible items, including plastic or other sharp objects.

Although the Sri Lankan government had planned for at least four years to recycle plastic in open landfills and install electric fences around their enclosures to prevent this mess in the first place, those efforts have not been fully implemented. The village of Pallakkadu যে which collects waste from nine villages এক once had electric fences around landfills. But it was struck by lightning and has not been repaired or replaced since 2014. That site is also not properly recycling its waste.

Wild elephants scavenge for food in an open landfill with birds perched on their backs.  Garbage piles visible in front.

Pictures: Achala Pusalla (AP)

In other landfills in Sri Lanka, the government has resorted to digging huge trenches around landfills to keep elephants away. Daily Sabah. The outlet further noted that as elephant habitat is shrinking, it is also increasing the risk of human-elephant collisions. Large animals have been seen roaming the city or in the fields.

Although this particular Sri Lankan landfill has a particularly elephant death history, it is far from the only place where litter has become a deadly food for animals. At least eight elephants Is dead After eating toxic plastic waste from an open landfill at Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe in 2016. Another 20-year-old elephant weighing 3.5 tonnes died in 2020 after eating plastic in Thailand.

The problem with plastics extends to other wildlife. Are sea turtles Notoriously attracted For eating plastic, Partly because it smells like food. Human-wildlife conflict due to habitat loss is a problem found all over the world. A Siberian city, for example, Repeatedly Crossed by polar bears In search of food as sea ice recedes.

Intestinal destructive stories are not just reminders of necessity Save nature, But end pollution in the first place. Cleaning efforts can only go so far; The best way to ensure that an elephant or any other animal is not found dead in a plastic filled stomach First turn off the tap.

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