sought-after animal in Sri Lankan wildlife is elephant. In a better way it
can be said that the beast is most popular in all Sri Lankan animals for it
can also be domesticated. Ideal destinations for finding the elephants are
Udawalawe National Park, Yala Elephant Sanctuary, Gal Oya National Park and
Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. In Habarana you can see elephant herds
criss-crossing the public herds.
According to a recent data number of elephants in Sri Lanka is around 2000
of which approxiamte 500 are domesticated. At the start of the century there
were around 36000 elephants in the country but their numbers declined due to
poaching. However the government is now conserving them.
Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage is among the most popular destinations in
Sri Lanka. Orphaned or herdless elephants are kept and cared here. The ideal
time to enjoy your trip is feeding time. You would get to see the baby
elephants being bottle-fed. You would also the elephants bathing in the
river and calf elephants splashing about in water. Pinnnawala is 13km off
Kegalle Town which itself is 77km from Colombo.
Yala National Park
If you desire to see the elephants in wild, Yala National Park would be the
ideal place. It has the largest number of wild elephant in Sri Lanka. There
are numerous streams and water holes in the park. Dense jungle has variety
of vegetation and the animals have no dearth of food and water. You can tour
the national park on jeep safari or elephant safari.
Association with Festivals
Elephant is the most venerated animal in Sri Lanka. It is taken out in
procession on several occasions with fanfare. Paritcularly in Kandy, on the
occasion of Esala Perahera, elephant processions are taken out at night or
evening and people dress themselves in traditional way. It is famous as one
of the world's grandest and most spectacular street parades. The colorful
pageant incorporates all aspects of local culture.