Elephant Orphanages

Elephant Orphanage in Pinnawela

Pinnawela orphanage is situated in Rambukkana, northwest of the town Kegalla, halfways between the present capital Colombo and the ancient royal residence Kandy in the hills of central Sri Lanka. It was established 1975 by the Sri Lanka Wildlife department. This 24 acres large elephant orphanage is a also breeding pace for elephants, the first elephant baby was born in 1984, and it has the greatest herd of elephants in captivity in the world. Between 1975 and 2012, 67 animals were born here.

The Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage was started in 1975 by the Department of Wildlife on a twenty five acre coconut property on the Maha Oya river at Rambukkana. The orphanage was primarily designed to afford care and protection to the many baby elephants found in the jungle without their mothers. In most of these cases the mother had either died or been killed.

In some instances the baby had fallen into a pit and in others the mother had fallen in and died. Initially this orphanage was at the Wilpattu National Park, then shifted to the tourist complex at Bentota and then to the Dehiwala Zoo.

From the Dehiwala Zoo it was shifted 1975 to Pinnawela. At the time it was shifted the orphanage had five baby elephants which formed its nucleus. It was hoped that this facility would attract both local and foreign visitors, the income from which would help to maintain the orphanage.

There are only a few elephant orphanages in the world. Pinnawela has now become one of the bigger orphanages and is quite well known worldwide.In 1978 the Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage was taken over by the National Zoological Gardens from the Department of Wildlife and a captive breeding program launched in 1982.

Learn more about the Elephant Orphanage in Pinnawela at http://www.elephant.se/location2.php?location_id=43

The Elephant Transit Home in Uda Walawe

The Elephant Transit Home owned by the Department of Wild Life Conservation (DWLC) was established on October 6, 1995 at the Udawalawe National Park.

On 24th of September 2003 the elephant transit home opened, completely funded by the Born Free Federation of UK, who also funds post-release studies run by the University of Colombo, monitoring the orphans with the help of radio collars once they have been returned to the wild.

The difference between Ath Athuru Sevena and the elephant orphanage in Pinnawala is that at the Transit Home these baby elephants once cared for are released to the wilds when they reach a certain age.

Learn more about the Elephant Transit Home in Uda Walawe National Park at http://www.elephant.se/location2.php?location_id=548

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