Mystery surrounds the death of seven wild elephants, whose bodies were found in the Habarana-Hiriwadunna and Digampathana-Thumbikulam forest reserves on September 28, 2019.

The elephants are believed to be from a single herd, and authorities suspect poison to be the cause of death.  Post mortems have already been held on some of them, and Counterpoint learns that body parts have been sent for testing to the Government Analyst to determine the exact cause of death.

Of particular concern is that at least six of the dead are cow elephants.

Human-elephant conflicts result in at least 200 jumbos and about 50 humans dying each year.  Authorities are trying to determine whether the deaths of this many cow elephants all at once, could be an attempt to curtail their population.

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