There’s a sea breeze blowing, only it’s not the sea – the wind is rolling over the fields of sugar cane in front of the field station.  A few hundred meters up, the road meets a single-lane highway and beside it is the electric fence. On the other side amble hopeful giants.  They’re elephants, eyeing the little fruit stand across the way and biding their time until some passer-by passes over the goods.  The evenings are cool, even chilly.  Now and then you hear the burst of what sounds like a firecracker – elephant ‘shots’ meant to drive fence-breakers away, but unsuccessful so far as each evening these days someone has been going through.  Word is that at least one of them is a one-tusked male trans-located into the park a short while ago.  So far we have not managed to catch the culprits in action, although our housekeeper spotted one strolling past the gate of our field station early one morning.  That describes a typical evening for me last summer.  I’ve been studying the Asian elephants of Uda Walawe National Park in Sri Lanka for the past six years.  Currently, I’m trying to raise money to find ways to help elephants and people live alongside one another.  How did I get here?  It’s a long way from Berkeley.
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