The Pinnawela Elephant Orphange – the best place for an up close and personal experience with the world’s largest land mammals!  The government-run Orphanage was set up in 1975 to rescue four orphaned baby elephants when they could no longer be looked after at Dehiwala (Colombo south) Zoo. Today with 70 elephants herein, it has become the home to the largest captive group of elephants in the world.  The elephants here range from newborns, tiny (elephant tiny that is), hefty adolescents, and young adults to elderly matriarchs, & include orphaned & abandoned elephants, as well as those injured in the wild & in conflicts with farmers in the villages. Among those are famous residents such as the three-legged elephant, Sama, who stood on a land mine, and a blind elephant, Raja. The orphanage population is constantly augmented by new arrival born in captivity: about one elephant is born here every year. The successful captive breeding project had so far produced 22 second generation births.  The elephants, which roam freely in parkland, are ‘herded’ by their mahouts (keepers) just before being taken to feeding sheds. At this time all orphans are in fine form & most photogenic. They are fed in couple of large sheds. Baby elephants, very hairy & barely 1m high are nursed by adult elephants.  If you do visit Pinnawela during feeding time, you too will be able to touch and feed the baby elephants in elephant baby bottles.  Twice a day elephants here, after the meals, are driven across the road to May Oya river for a leisurely bath. And you will be able to watch from the river bank, if you feel up to it, we could look at the possibility of getting your assistance to bathe the elephants!

Listing Amenities

  • Entrance Ticket Required
Rambukkana, Sri Lanka