Yala Re-opens amidst tension

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Yala National Park that was closed for drought for one month re-opened today as scheduled. Until yesterday, there was  doubt whether reopening of the park would be be postponed due to threats to the Wildlife Officers following Friday’s shooting that killed a poacher at Yala. Local sources claim the family and close allies of the dead man threatened  wildlife officers which subsequently led to deployment of  Police Special Task Force (STF) to protect the Wildlife Offices located in Yala and the vicinity.

The incident has been an eye opener that poaching is carried out even in the protected areas. The recent incident occurred when Wildlife Officers engaged with a group of poachers at Kochchipathana which is located at the Yala National Park’s buffer zone. It is reported that the wildlife officers opened fire when the poacher tried to shoot at wildlife officers. Two other poachers were arrested.

Entrance of Yala National Park (c) Michael Dyberg

Entrance of Yala National Park (c) Michael Dyberg

Read the print edition of SundayTimes this weekend for more about the incident and experts’ opinions on how to address the issue of poaching in Sri Lanka.

To discover reasons behind  Yala’s closure  for drought read the following Sunday Times story ‘ ‘Yala Animals Get Drought Break’  –  http://www.sundaytimes.lk/071007/Plus/plus00010.html

Published on TimesOnline on 07.10.2015 – http://www.sundaytimes.lk/news-online/yala-re-opens-amidst-tension.html

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