Pinnawela elephant orphanage

Kandy Travel Blog

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Pinnawela elephant orphanage

Pinnawela orphanage is situated northwest of the town Kegalla, halfways between the present capitol 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, twenty elephants were born since 1984, and it has the greatest herd of elephants in captivity in the world.

Elephant numbers:

  • 1975: 5 baby elephants
  • 1978: 12 elephants, of those 5 babies.
  • 1997: 56 elephants, and in
  • 1998: 63 elephants
  • 2000 70 elephants,

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.

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. When the zoo took over there were twelve animals five of whom were babies.In time more baby elephants were added to the original herd of five. It was observed that though older females could be added it was not possible to add older males to the herd. 1997 there are 52 animals of which there 10 were babies under 3 years of age. There were five mahouts for the twelve elephants when the orphanage was taken over 1978 and now there are twenty mahouts. This number is inadequate to manage the increasing and growing number of elephants

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Pinnawela elephant orphanage
Pinnawela elephant orphanage
Pinnawela elephant orphanage
Pinnawela elephant orphanage
photo by: halilee