Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
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.
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
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.
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