AMBASSADOR SUBASINGHE PARTICIPATES IN
THE TSUNAMI WILDLIFE BENEFIT AT THE NATIONAL ZOO
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
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
10 February 2005