SAARC Tourism
Sri Lanka

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

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Pinnawala in Sri Lanka Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage, one of the most popular attractions in Sri Lanka, is 80km northeast of Colombo. It is among the biggest herds of captive elephants in the world. The Orphanage is the first of its kind in the world where abandoned and disabled elephants get lot of love, care and protection. It is one of the world's best elephant breeding centers. Pinnawela is a place an elephant lover would never forget.

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Taking Pictures
The elephants go to bathe in the river everday. The sound of camera clicking swells everytime one of the elephant babies splashes about in the water. The visitors can also photograph elephants indulging in other games. You can capture them taking food or rubbing themselves on the trunks of the trees. One can see baby jumbos roaming around their cramped foster home or bottle fed and bathed by their human protectors. However you have to pay extra for the privilege of photography.

Bathing and Feeding Time
Bathing time is sharp at 10.00am and 2.00pm. Feeding time is about an hour earlier.

Reaching There
Pinnawala is 3 km from Rambukkana junction on Colombo-Kandy (90km from Colombo) road. Travellers coming from Colombo or Kandy by bus could take a vehicle for Rambukkana from Kegalle town.

Efforts Done
More than 100 people are employed to care for the herd feeding them with leaves from palm trees. The elephants consume about 14,000kg of food every day. The elephants here are accustomed to their human visitors.

Founding of the Orphanage
Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage has existed since 1975. Before the British arrived in 1815 an estimated 30,000 elephants resided on the island. In the 1960s, the elephants here were close to extinction. The Government of Sri Lanka took concrete steps to protect the elephants. This orphanage was found to provide safe haven to them. The elephants who had lost their mothers or herds were brought and reared here. Today, their number has risen around 3,000.

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