Fundraiser organized by Friends of the National Zoo (FONZ) to support scientists in Sri Lanka in wildlife habitat rehabilitation efforts

Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to the United States, Ambassador Devinda R. Subasinghe, was invited by the Friends of the National Zoo (FONZ) to participate at a fund-raiser organized on February 10, 2005 at the Elephant Room of the Smithsonian National Zoo in Washington D.C. The proceeds from the event would support scientists in Sri Lanka who are presently engaged in efforts to rehabilitate wildlife habitat following the December 26 Tsunami.

Ambassador Devinda R. Subasinghe speaking at the event informed the audience that the Tsunami affected one of the best wildlife sanctuaries in coastal Sri Lanka called the Yala National Park. Although many animals escaped the Tsunami, the damage to their habitats, and food sources still remains to be assessed. Ambassador Subasinghe commended the conservation and rehabilitation efforts of zoo researches as the Yala coastal habitat was home to endangered elephants, fishing cats, leopards and spotted deer, among others. The Ambassador also observed with special appreciation and affection the presence of the baby elephant Kandula, of Sri Lankan lineage, who drew thousands of visitors to the National Zoo since its birth in early 2001. Kandula was born to Shanthi, who was gifted by the children of Sri Lanka to the US to commemorate the US Bicentennial in 1976.

Friends of the National Zoo (FONZ) is a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the conservation, education and research of the National Zoo. Formed in 1958, FONZ was one of the first conservation organizations in the US capital. Proceeds of a silent auction of a painting of Shanthi and other donors, will be directed to conservation activities in Sri Lanka.

Embassy of Sri Lanka
Washington DC

10 February 2005


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