Nature has given us a rich variety of animals. In our small country there are various types of animals Some of them are endemic species.
Hundred years ago, elephants, leopards, bears, antelopes, deer, rabbits, birds roamed freely across the forests.
Those days, people hunted animals only for food. They only killed enough animals to provide for their needs without putting the survival of the species in danger.
In Sri Lanka, there had always been a natural balance between animals, people and the rest of the nature. But with the arrival of the British, however animals were killed not only for sport but also for their valuable skins, tusks, and horns. Some of the local people seeing the profits to be made joined in the hunting.
On the other hand, the number of people, or the population has been increasing in large number. So they have cleared the forest for land and timber.
Most recently in our country in the name of development a lot of forests were cleared.
By now, the animals of our country have been denied of their natural habitat. Over the years the number of animals living in our forest has dropped dramatically. In places where there had been hundreds of animals, only a few remained, until eventually governments have declared national parks where nobody is allowed to hunt or kill animals. Governments have imposed severe laws to protect animals. Today in our country elephants are the most endangered. There are only about 3000 elephants in our forests. Elephants are killed for various reasons. Farmers kill them to protect their farm lands. Hunters kill them for tusk. Other animals are also killed by hunters for skin and teeth.
Today, it is seen that the government has made a separate ministry to protect wild animals. A lot of public awareness programmers are conducted. People are taught about the importance of wild animals.
We should always help the government and conservation groups to protect wild animals. We should tell our friends about the importance of wild animals. We should grow more and more forests. It is our duty to bequeath these valuable natural resources to our future generations.