Cruelty to animals costs a travel guide dearly

A Sri Lankan tour guide has been fined a large sum for harassing an elephant.

Credit: KEYSTONE / EPA / MAPUSHPA KUMARA

In Sri Lanka, wild elephants are increasingly being harassed by humans. The game guide now has to pay a heavy fine for cruelty to animals. He had posted a video on Tiktok of his doing.

A Sri Lankan tour guide has been fined a massive sum for trapping a wild elephant in his car. As authorities announced on Friday, the 22-year-old has to pay 200,000 rupees (about 915 francs) for animal cruelty. This is 20 times the minimum monthly wage in Sri Lanka.

The travel guide was transmitted using a video posted on the Internet platform Tiktok. In the now-deleted video, the man is filmed from inside a car scaring the animal in a shelter by sounding a horn and lighting lights on it. Then the elephant hid behind a tree.

Arrested after the video spread

A court in the north of the country issued the ruling on Thursday. Authorities managed to arrest the man this week after his video clip went viral. In the Internet, the call for a more severe punishment for the mentor was loud. “The fine is not enough to deter this kind of cruelty,” elephant expert Jayantha Jaywardene told AFP.



Elephants are popular in the predominantly Buddhist island state of southern India, are considered the embodiment of Buddha himself, and are protected, but their existence is also threatened.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the number of Asian elephants in Sri Lanka was estimated at about 12,000. According to the latest census, there are now less than 7,000 animals. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) classifies the world’s population of Asian elephants as “vulnerable”.

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SDA

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