Elephants eat plastic – level 3
Elephants in Sri Lanka are so desperate for food that they are going to toxic landfills to eat deadly amounts of plastic waste.
People revere the animals in Sri Lanka; however, they’re also endangered. Their numbers have dwindled from about 14,000 in the 19th century to 6,000 in 2011. They are increasingly vulnerable because of the loss and degradation of their natural habitat, and many come closer to villages in search of food.
Poachers or farmers kill some; the farmers are angry over damage to their crops. To control the animals, some people have returned to electric fences that they install illegally and without proper technical skills. These fences endanger their own lives as well as those of the elephants.
Some farmers have asked authorities to come up with a way to protect human and elephant lives and allow them to continue their farming.
Difficult words: revered (to honor and greatly respected), endangered, endanger (when an animal or plant is at risk of disappearing from the world; to be in a dangerous situation); dwindle (to gradually become smaller in size or amount).
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