Wildlife officials in Sri Lanka expressed surprise Wednesday that they found no evidence of large-scale animal deaths from the weekend's massive tsunami indicating that animals may have sensed the wave coming and fled to higher ground.And here's Reuter's version
An Associated Press photographer who flew over Sri Lanka's Yala National Park in an air force helicopter saw abundant wildlife, including elephants, buffalo, deer, and not a single animal corpse.
Floodwaters from the tsunami swept into the park, uprooting trees and toppling cars onto their roofs one red car even ended up on top of a huge tree but the animals apparently were not harmed and may have sought out high ground, said Gehan de Silva Wijeyeratne, whose Jetwing Eco Holidays ran a hotel in the park.
'This is very interesting. I am finding bodies of humans, but I have yet to see a dead animal,' said Wijeyeratne, whose hotel in the park was totally destroyed in Sunday's tidal surge.
Sri Lankan wildlife officials are stunned -- the worst tsunami in memory has killed around 22,000 people along the Indian Ocean island's coast, but they can't find any dead animals.
Giant waves washed floodwaters up to 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, told Reuters on Wednesday.
'No elephants are dead, not even a dead hare or rabbit,' he added. 'I think animals can sense disaster. They have a sixth sense. They know when things are happening.'