13 Aug '11, 12pm
Historic Elephant Census in Sri Lanka Marred by Controversy: Photo credit: mckaysavage/Creative Comm..
Historic Elephant Census in Sri Lanka Marred by Controversy Photo credit: mckaysavage /Creative Commons National parks in Sri Lanka reopened today after being closed since Thursday for a census of elephant populations . Nearly 4,000 wildlife workers, farmers, and villagers participated by staffing treetop outposts at 1,000 locations across the country. It was the island's first full count of elephant populations—which officials estimate at 5,000 to 6,000 individuals. Some outside observers expressed concern, however, that the initiative was in fact an elaborate smoke screen for capturing young elephants which would then be domesticated and put to work at temples and tourist locations. View the entire comment thread.