Shortage of perahera elephants | Daily News

Shortage of perahera elephants

Although nearly 40 elephants are needed for participation in renowned cultural pageants like the Kandy and Kataragama perahera festivals, only around 30 tamed elephants are available today for deployment in these peraheras, said the Basnayake Nilame of the Ruhunu Maha Kataragama Devalaya D.P. Kumarage.

He was addressing members of the Tamed Elephant Owners Association at a meeting in Kataragama on January 15.

Association members earlier held a pooja at the Kataragama Devalaya seeking blessings and intervention of the Deity of Kataragama to get domesticated elephants held at elephant orphanages for deployment in peraheras including rituals held at devalayas.

Basnayake Nilame Kumarage said nearly 45 domesticated elephants found at temples after being trained to participate in peraheras are now languishing in elephant orphanages after being taken over.

Although the President had responded to their requests and directed the Wild Life Department to release these elephants to the temples and devalayas there had been a delay in carrying out this order. 

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