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Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage Sri Lanka


As part of the Sri Lankan government’s committment to protect the elephant, authorities the Wildlife Conservation effort also run the Pinnawela orphanage situated northwest of the town of Kegalle, halfway between Colombo and Kandy. This 24 acres elephant orphanage established by Sri Lanka’s Wild Life Department is also a breeding centre for elephants,where twenty elephants were born since 1984 and has the largest herd of elephants in captivity in the world. The orphanage on the other

hand, 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. This facility attracts both local and foreign visitors and the income helps to maintain the activities of 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 world wide. Elephants hold aesthetic, cultural and economic importance in Sri Lanka. They are used for carrying timber and have a special significance and role at religious events. The Sri Lankan elephant is protected under the Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance of Sri Lanka (FFPO), and killing it, carries the death penalty. Sri Lankan authorities do everything in their power to care for and protect these large fascinating, highly intelligent animals, which otherwise could disappear into extinction. While Elephants provide tourism revenue amounting to billions of rupees, authorities also spend a substantial amount of funds and resources to protect them.

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