Investigation into the hit-and-run vehicle death of a leopardess inside the Yala National Park is to conclude next week. Speaking to The Nation on Friday (September 4) Director of the Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC) H.D. Rathnayake said the investigation, which is being conducted by the department will conclude within the next four days.
According to him the department will also question the guests who were residing in the Heenganga Bungalow at the time of accident due to many accusations leveled against them as being the offending party in this incident. “However, we have never had incidents were guests were found in the park during the night” he said adding that constant patrols ensure that offenders are brought to book while trackers provided to groups as well as bungalow caretakers should ensure no guests are allowed to venture in to the park at night.
Speaking further about the investigation he said. “We have also requested the Safari Jeep Owners Association to give a statement and any other information regarding the matter”. The Director also requested any information regarding the incident is also welcome from environmentalist and other organizations. “This will help us in the inquiry,” he said.
However, Environmentalist and Director, Environment Conservation Trust Sajeewa Chamikara said asking information from environmentalists regarding the incident now is a joke as proper procedure was not adhered to at the initial stages of the investigation thus sabotaging it from its inception. Rathnayake however denied this saying the investigation including the postmortem was conducted in a proper manner.