Jan 23, 2018

Deer population dwindling in P’naruwa sacred area Featured

The deer population within the Polonnaruwa sacred and wildlife reserve areas is fast dwindling due to increased hunting, reports say.

In one of the most recent incidents, area residents rescued a female deer from a pack of hunting dogs, but it died soon after of fatal injuries to its neck on January 21.

One resident charged that the hunters came mainly from Colombo and get some villagers to help them kill deer.

Also, traps are set and hunting dogs used, he said, adding that around five deer are killed each day and the venison sold in Colombo, to tourist hotels and for ceremonies in Polonnaruwa.

The deer population that was around 1,000 some time ago is now reduced to around 250.

Zonal wildlife officer P.M. Ratnayake said they were removing the hunting dogs and the traps set in the sacred area and also arresting the trespassers.

He said he also raised, at the district committee meeting, the issue of hotels located within the area.

Ratnayake said top officials should act without delay to solve this matter.

deer hunt 1

deer hunt 3

Police, wildlife officers taking a deer for treatment after being rescued from hunting dogs

deer hunt 4

A deer killed by a hunting dog