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Sri Lankan Photographer's Viral Snaps Show Elephants Feeding On Garbage Due To Food Shortage

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The global garbage pollution isn’t limited to the ocean. Devastating photos of poor elephants feeding off an encroaching landfill for food in Sri Lanka have surfaced. The pictures show that feeding on garbage has caused large mammals to inadvertently ingest harmful pollutants.

The phenomenon has been categorized as “peculiar” and “sad” by Tharmaplan Tilaxan, a Jaffna-based photographer who took the heartbreaking shots near a jungle in the country’s Ampara district. Tilaxan had been tasked with filming the elephant’s activities in the area, and he was stunned to discover their eating habits.

Most elephants are known to travel more than 18 miles per day. As they stroll, they seed up to 3,200 new trees a day with their droppings. But, the specific pachyderm herd of up to 30 members does not exhibit the same behavior. As their instincts have changed due to the encroaching garbage dump, which harbors trash from around the country. See the pictures Tilaxan has clicked below. 

Due to their unfortunate eating routine, the tuskers are “unintentionally consuming microplastics and polythene,” said Tilaxan. Tilaxan has also revealed that biologists have found “large quantities of undigested pollutants” in their feces. The accidental chemical consumption has even proved fatal in many instances.

This isn’t even the full tragedy. It is also being reported that the landfill’s proximity to the forest has made the tuskers accustomed to feeding close to humans, according to the photographer, which has led them to become pests for villagers. Tilaxan claims they’ve “begun to invade nearby paddy fields and villages,” in turn, adding “more tension to the already fraught relationship between the villagers and the wild animals.”

Source: NY Post & Tharmaplan Tilaxan [All images are credited to the source]