Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

The Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage was established in 1975 by the late Hon. Minister Kalugalle and currently managed by the Department of National Zoological Gardens Sri Lanka. Presently it is a home for 93 elephants.

Elephant at Pinnawala
Getting ready for their daily bath at "Ma Oya" river

Main idea behind the facility is to attract local and foreign visitors and the income from which would help to maintain the orphanage. The Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage has since become a major tourist attraction in Sri Lanka. Thousands of visitors visit the orphanage daily to see how the elephants live under the kind care of their mahouts.

Main idea behind the facility is to attract local and foreign visitors and the income from which would help to maintain the orphanage. The Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage has since become a major tourist attraction in Sri Lanka. Thousands of visitors visit the orphanage daily to see how the elephants live under the kind care of their mahouts.

The main residential care area is on the east side of Rambukkana Road. It also has some restaurants and refreshment stands, and management buildings including sleeping sheds and veterinary facilities. The elephant bathing and viewing area along the “Ma Oya” River is directly opposite on the west side of the highway.

People who visit the Elephant Orphanage can view the care and daily routine of the elephants, such as bottle feeding of elephant calves, feeding of all other elephants, and bathing in the “Ma Oya” River.

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
Elephant pack ready for a bathing at the river

Most of the elephants at Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage are healthy. Once they attained adulthood will be retained within the facility because they have become dependent on food. A few disabled elephants are given residential care.

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