Pinnawala

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage is an orphanage, nursery and captive breeding ground for wild Asian elephants located at Pinnawala village, about 90Km from Colombo towards Kandy in Sabaragamuwa Province of Sri Lanka. Pinnawala has the largest herd of captive elephants in the world. In 2011, there were 96 elephants, including 43 males and 68 females from 3 generations, living in Pinnawala.
The orphanage was founded to care and protect the many orphaned unwanted wild elephants found wandering in and near the forests of Sri Lanka. It was established in 1975 by the Sri Lanka Department of Wildlife Conservation
The Orphanage is open from 8.30am to 5.45pm and visitors can interact a little with the elephants during the regulated bathing and feeding times. The baby elephants gulp down several huge bottles of milk, fed to them by their mahouts, and then it’s off to the river for a bath. The inherent gentleness of the animals is most obvious during this time. Most of the elephants eventually become ‘working’ elephants, and some older females occasionally add a baby to the herd.

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