Sri Lankan Human/Elephant Conflict

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This summer I will be heading on a trip to the other side of the world to spend my time researching Elephants in Sri Lanka. I recently had a meeting with the head of the Sri Lanka Wild Life Reserve and he asked me if it was possible to organize fundraisers raising money to plant Orange trees.

Orange trees you ask? Before I go into why Orange trees, it is important to note the economy of Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka makes most of its money through agriculture, tea plantations, or fields of mangos and rice. Because Sri Lanka is almost entirely rural area there are many forms of wildlife that thrive in Sri Lankans jungles, etc. Elephants especially walk miles and miles, wandering all over the country migrating for food or breeding. Unfortunately though, as beautiful and awe striking that elephants are, they leave destruction in their wake. They stomp on the crops of the Sri Lankan people when in search of food, leaving the people with no source of nourishment or income. Occasionally a local will even get trampled by an elephant, or a house will get destroyed by these incredible creatures. Of course these animals are sacred and endangered, so the people would never want to harm them in anyway, but it makes it very difficult for the Sri Lankan people to live among them. So, the researchers went to work looking for nondisruptive and environmentally friendly ways to keep the elephants away from the crops. This is where orange trees come in. Researchers discovered that elephants hate citrus fruit and properties were lined with, for example, orange trees, this would act as a fence and the elephants would not go any further. Amazingly, this solution benefits everyone. The elephants are still free to roam, orange trees are not so expensive, it isn’t an electric fence that will disrupt the the land. Orange trees also provide another source of food for the people of Sri Lanka as well as increasing their income; now they can sell

ranges! So now comes the fundraising part. If you can contribute five dollars or less (or more) you can help save the people of Sri Lanka, and the elephants, two birds with one stone!

 

To donate to this cause, please contact Mrs. Wing here at Dobbs Ferry High School.

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