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Attanayaka:Overcoming tragedy and finding purpose in life

Despite losing his 12-year-old sister to a wild elephant attack, right outside his home when he was just a 4 year-old, Chaminda Attanayaka chose understanding over hate in the Human-Elephant Conflict (HEC) that ravages some parts of Sri Lanka. Instead of blaming the animals for what happened, he chose to study them and the root cause that led to that tragedy. Attanayaka’s love for everything in the wild has led him to write several books on animals and diversity in the wilderness, conduct awareness campaigns in the villages and on social media on avoiding HEC, as well as spearhead many conservation projects such as tree planting initiatives. A Wildlife Ranger by profession, Attanayaka is a key volunteer in the HEC Mitigation Project in Koonketiya. His exemplary service towards environment conservation led Transparency International Sri Lanka to recognise him as one of 5 Integrity Icons of 2020.

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