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eyepea

Wild Elephants On The Road, Any Experience ?

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Anyone driven on the A12, Puttalam - Anuradhapura road during night time ?

Someone asked me to beware of wild elephants crossing this road at night. Just wondering if it is some leg pulling or something to be of a concern.

Being concerned of elephants crossing the road may sound funny to some and being chicken to some others.

I have experience some time ago where car was chased by a cow and was butted. I think a calf got scared and the cow decided to attack the threat. Nothing to be afraid of about a cow, but resulted in some damage to the car body.

But personally, I don't want to find out what kind of damage an elephant may cause to a car first hand :-).

So anyone's experience on meeting elephants on roads, would be useful, specially how you tackled it (engine off, lights off, keep quiet or make a dash or charge at the elephant ;-) ?). If anyone is aware of any main roads, areas to be best avoided at times like dusk or traveled as a vehicle group at certain times, that too would be useful when planing routes. Please be specific about the areas / stretch of road. Sometimes avoiding them would be better. Consider a situation where stopping and staying silent would make the elephants just go their way but you have a kid in the car and the kid screams. The elephant might react?

Few months back, there was tv news on elephants attacking villages in some areas. What am interested in is more relevant to main roads rather than villages. Anyway village areas too would be helpful in a way.

Thanks.

Edited by eyepea

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tail behind a DS Gunasekera leyland..he will safely take you home :sport-smiley-004::sport-smiley-004: ..btw seriously .. few years ago we were told to wait untill a DS bus to arrive at a checkpoint by a army personal in dambulla - trinco road around 10pm , since there were less no of vehicles & the risk of elephant crossing the road, we waited till a leyland to come & the Army personal had told the bus driver to take us behind ..driver told us to tail him closely & carefully upto a certain point...atfer a 6-7 km of driving the bus driver honked like nothing & the bus veered to the right suddenly but didnt stop..we followed as well ..there was a elephant roaming on the left side freely ,seemed like good guy though...but hell of an experience...

in puttalam - anuradhapura road, i have traveled many time during dusk ..but not encountered a close call.. though saw some far away from the road.. but usually i speed more than 100 (not recommended though ..but less time less risk) but i dont think engine off/ lights off idea would be that good since you dont know what is going to happen & if you are idle the elephant might come closer & then if you act anything stupid ..that might cause problem..usually the elephants never charge at the moving vehicle unless it is totally disturbed.. SO just drive casually and avoid the elephant as much as possible ..dont slow down/dont accelerate fast.. dont flash your lights..dont honk even (that honking thing only applies to leylands..they are bigger and the horn also really make elephant to move away..) just drive past the elephant..

Edited by TheClutch
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Never turn your engine off, and at night, nor your lights. In fact, if possible, simply keep moving. An elephant will not charge unless it feels threatened, and the best way to avoid such a situation is to not stop. Avoid the horn, the noise really agitates elephants.

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Last weekend at Minneriya there were 5 elephants on the road However with the traffic stalled they peacefully crossed.

There are several other places I have seen elephants on the road.

Habarana Trinco route - Kithul Uthuwa ,Aluth oya area

Siyabalanduwa Pothuvil Route - Lahugala

Kandy Badulla road - Randenigala dam

Medawachiya -Kebithigollewa road - Etaweeragollewa, Mahadiwulwewa area

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My god. I am planning to go Kandy - Badulla road next week. Normally they come out in the night.

Isn't it?

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@TSR

Yes. Kandy - Badulla road, normally they come out in the night. Some years back the road was closed @ 6.00pm due to terrorism threat + elephants on the road. But those days also 100% safe in the day time. You dont need to omit Kandy - Badulla (Rajamawatha) road as this issue. Its a nice path to travel at least once in life time. Specially with your kids if you have :)

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@TSR

Yes. Kandy - Badulla road, normally they come out in the night. Some years back the road was closed @ 6.00pm due to terrorism threat + elephants on the road. But those days also 100% safe in the day time. You dont need to omit Kandy - Badulla (Rajamawatha) road as this issue. Its a nice path to travel at least once in life time. Specially with your kids if you have :)

Actually the road was closed after 6 p.m. because of the threat of a terrorist attack on the Randenigala dam, not because of the wild elephants. If it was the reason, they would have continued it even after the war. I have used this road at night and didn't even see a single elephant. But it's better to accompany another vehicle, a lorry may be.

On the other hand I have seen wild elephants beside the road near Thabbowa lake on Puttalam -Anuradhapura road around 1 a. m. ,but I was travelling by a bus. This crazy bus driver even stopped the bus to show the elephants to the few passengers who were awaken at that time. A lady was so mad at him and screamed to move the bus from there. :D

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me and couple of our friends have a death wish, sort of. we actually go searching for wild elephants who will roam in streets. as terry said dont turn your engine off and dont make too much noise

be caucious when driving in these areas. if you see an elephant on the way stop and let it pass if its walking towards you. slowly reverse. Dont panic.

it wont charge at you for no reason... * most of the time

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Once an elephant suddenly came on to the road on the Puttalam-Kurunegala roa., I was driving at around 80k/h and I knew I would scare the elephant if I slowed down, so I quickly downshifted and went around it.

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@TSR

Yes. Kandy - Badulla road, normally they come out in the night. Some years back the road was closed @ 6.00pm due to terrorism threat + elephants on the road. But those days also 100% safe in the day time. You dont need to omit Kandy - Badulla (Rajamawatha) road as this issue. Its a nice path to travel at least once in life time. Specially with your kids if you have :)

The Rajamawatha has been closed due to bridge washout near Randenigala. You have to take 18 bend road.

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Only once did I drive from Puttalam to A'pura at night between 9 and 11 and I didnt see any Elephants but the oncoming vehicles were flashing their lights but there were no cops either so I assume it was an Elephant that they may have seen and were warning others,another time on a Jaffna bound bus this year I heard the driver telling someone 'aliya aliya' but again I could not spot it this was on the Puttalam Apura road

But I know people who have seen Elephants crossing the road on that stretch and as far as I know they have never attacked any vehicles

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There was a time when these buses which travel via places with wild elephants, used to fix horns with higher decibel value which are loud enough to scare away the elephants. The problem is that even the 138 guys also fix them to scare away the pedestrians and small cars from their way. :D

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Thanks Kusumsiri for the info.

Yes. Many people say this road has a very nice view.

Edited by TSR

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Lot of helpful info. I hope everyone will continue to update this thread of any new areas.

Located Thabbowa lake - Karuwalagaswewa area on A12. Tnx.

Other areas mentioned too would be helpful when planing trips.

Any Google map experts in AL? Wonder if we could add elephant zones like construction zones that are shown when getting driving directions :).

Many thanks!

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Hi eyepea

I travel quite often at night (7PM to 10PM) and early morning (3AM to 6:AM) on the Puttalam-Anuradhapura road.

Elephants are not often on the road but generally they can be seen somewhere between the 7km to about the 10km posts before Karuwalagswewa, and again between Thabbowa tank and before Saliyawewa.

I have observed that these elephants are rather shy and I have had no issues. They are either on the side of the road or beyond the electric fences.

By and large I avoid travelling between 10pm and 3am, not so some much because of elephants but because of reckless bus drivers.

I don't advice speeding in these areas (clearly road marked as elephant crossing areas) because should you suddenly encounter a lone bull or a herd, you may end up hitting them. I travel at a speed where I could easily control the vehicle in case of an emergency.

Ekendra

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Guys planning to travel on the very same road this week. Any particular issues with the road? I mean other than the elephant crossing stuff?

Also anyone went to Anuradhapura recently, how are the roads after the heavy rain season?

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Guys planning to travel on the very same road this week. Any particular issues with the road? I mean other than the elephant crossing stuff?

Also anyone went to Anuradhapura recently, how are the roads after the heavy rain season?

Took that route just after the heavy rains - end of November. Traveled during 8pm to 10pm in Puttalam-A'pura road. Didn't encounter any elephants and roads were no issue.

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This chap apparantly has experienced it:

An oldie but a goodie. The moron commenting at the end is lucky he got away with his life :)

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This chap apparantly has experienced it:

An oldie but a goodie. The moron commenting at the end is lucky he got away with his life :)

that was quite an attack and lucky the elephants didnt pursue the attack if not they could have made the SUV topple with ease,it was more like they were showing them jeep passengers as to who is the boss around there!

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Indeed Rajamawatha is a really nice road. You must go at least once and see the beauty.

thank you all for the information.

Edited by TSR

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Indeed Rajamawatha is a really nice road. You must go at least once and see the beauty.

thank you all for the information.

I used to take this road often during my childhood. Really enjoyed travelling always with the shutters down. There were some nice places to eat beside the road as well. We used to eat bada iringu and pol roti which were quite tasty. I wonder those places are still there.

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Raja mawatha Road is one of the most beautiful pieces of Road that I have seen in Sri Lanka, other one is Mahaoya - maduruoya stretch.spectacular view with elephants.

Regarding Raja-mawatha, there are

Wild elephants but they are so friendly. No direct attacks, such hungry animals though.

PS-there are few large potholes on the road recently.maintenance have been abandoned by YAHAPALANE people. Go there quickly beacuse it's going to be bad Road soon and that is some spectacular view you get in SL.

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