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Updates from the Field

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The EleBus undergoing repairs


The EleBus Undergoes Repairs

In November 2017 we had to stop the EleFriendly Bus Service to do some much needed repairs and servicing to the bus. The SLWCS field Land Rovers and Land Cruiser took over the transporting of the school kids until the bus was repaired. Fortunately the bus was pulled out of service just one week prior to the Christmas holidays so the children were not greatly inconvenienced.

The dealership has promised to handover the EleBus by the second week of January. In the interim SLWCS field vehicles will be providing transport to the children until the bus is ready to resume service. We gratefully acknowledge the funding support given by Mr. Tharindu Wijayasena, Director, PFIK, Kandy City Centre and Cha’s Organics of Canada to pay for the repairs and servicing of the EleBus. Due to their support the EleBus will be back as good as new to continue creating an environment of co-existence and peace in the Tree Hut Elephant Corridor.

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Chicken Half

Chicken Half used to be a member of three crowing brilliant white roosters with big shinny red combs and wattles. All three were rescued as cockerels from a slaughter house and set free to roam in the field house property. Last May, a civet cat that was rescued from captivity was released and over the course of getting habituated to the wild it ate two roosters and a half. That is how Chicken Half came by his name. He was rescued just in time while being devoured by the civet. Since the civet was getting to be too dangerous for other animals it was relocated to the Wasgamuwa National Park. Recently Chicken Half was reunited with two full hens with hope that even though he will never become a full chicken it will at least help to make his life complete.

Chicke Half Hens

Chicken Half with two full hens

Unraveling the secrets of small wild cats

Nocturnal observations of small wild cats such as the jungle cat, fishing cat and rusty spotted cat ( which is the world’s smallest wild cat) is helping to shed light on the behavior of these illusive animals. This is link to a video filmed using a night vision camera of a jungle cat hunting in a rice field at our project site: https://www.facebook.com/SriLankaWildlifeConservationSociety/videos/1973155766033873/

Jungle Cat in the night

A jungle cat hunting

The night small cat observation team

Sarath, DJ & VJ who with Chandima makes up the nocturnal cat research team

Saved from Squash

Softy is a soft shelled terrapin also known as an Indian flapshell turtle (Lissemys punctata) that was rescued from getting squashed into a pancake by a tipper truck. Softy now happily resides in the field house pond safe from any potential future squashing.

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Softy the soft shell terrapin

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Lives happily in the pond.

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Making a difference

Our volunteers are busy participating in the various field activities pertaining to our research and conservation projects.

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Setting Sand Traps

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Taking measurements of tracks

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Recording data

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Chandima explaining a camera trap

A gathering that raises a stink

Recently the field crew visited a series of garbage dumps to observe elephants at these sites. The sight of elephants consuming refuse is always a pathetic site. Not surprisingly it is always bulls that gather at these sites to devour refuse with relish. These elephants are addicted to garbage.

While it is the elephants that always raise concerns about impacts of garbage dumps on their health, in reality there are a vast number of other wild animals including birds that frequent these garbage dumps. Just how these animals are impacted and how they must be impacting the environment especially in spreading germs and diseases is mind boggling to contemplate.

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A gathering of garbage addicts

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A large flock of white egrets waiting their turn

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Two bulls interacting at the garbage site

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Probably wondering whether we have any garbage to spare

Amidst these sober and sad realities it is always great to be at the WG tank where it never ceases to provide a feeling of tranquility and bliss when a herd of elephants appear to feed and socialize on the littoral plains of the tank.

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An elephant herd at the WG Tank

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Photo Credits:

Chinthaka Weerasinghe/SLWCS
Chandima Fernando/SLWCS
Indika Sampath/SLWCS
Sarath Kumara/SLWCS
Ravi Corea/SLWCS

Big, rumbling thanks to our Corporate Partners for their kind support and to everyone who has donated and supported our wildlife conservation efforts!

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