Thursday, December 30, 2004

Tsunami: Did wildlife know? Tribes in extinction danger

"Where Are All The Dead Animals? Sri Lanka Asks." Reuters, 30 Dec 2004. "Giant waves washed floodwaters up to 3 km (2 miles) inland at Yala National Park in the ravaged southeast, Sri Lanka's biggest wildlife reserve and home to hundreds of wild elephants and several leopards. "The strange thing is we haven't recorded any dead animals," H.D. Ratnayake, deputy director of the national Wildlife Department."

"Tsunami Threatens Survival of Indian Tribes." Reuters, 30 Dec 2004. 'Officials estimate the tsunami triggered by Sunday's earthquake off Sumatra killed about 12,500 people in India. More than 7,000 people are estimated to have died in the Andaman and Nicobar chain of islands alone.

The remote cluster of more than 550 islands, of which only about three dozen are inhabited, is home to six tribes of Mongoloid and African origin who have lived there for thousands of years. These Indian tribes could be on the verge of extinction. "Even a small loss in any of these groups, barring the more numerous Nicobarese, could seriously endanger their survival."

On a related point, see how we can help from Singapore.

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