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Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage in Kegalle

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage is located northwest of Kegalle, halfway between the present capital Colombo and the ancient royal residence Kandy. It was established in 1975 by the Sri Lanka Wildlife Department on a 25-acre coconut land adjacent to the Maha Oya River. This orphanage was established to provide care and protection to many orphaned elephants found in the forests of Sri Lanka.

The orphanage was taken over by the National Zoo in 1978 from the Department of Wildlife. The Slave Breeding Program was launched in 1982. More than 20 elephants have been bred here since the beginning of the program. The purpose of the orphanage is to mimic the natural habitat of these elephants. However, there are some exceptions: elephants are taken to the river for bathing twice a day, and all infants under the age of three are still bottle-fed by gentlemen and volunteers.

Pinnawala (Pinnawela) Elephant Orphanage Located 90 km away in the village of Pinnawala in the Kegalle district. Each animal is given about 76 kg of green matter per day and about 2 kg per bag of food containing rice bran and maize. The orphanage, which boasts of having the largest herd of slave elephants in the world, is very popular and is visited daily by many Sri Lankans and foreign tourists. The main attraction is the somewhat spectacular bathing of elephants.

Pinnawala (Pinnawela) Elephant Orphanage A1 can be reached via the Colombo-Kandy main road. A turn at Kegalle 82 km post takes you to the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. The nearest railway station is located at a distance of 1 km from the village of Pinnawala.

Daily features of Interest at the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

  • 08.30 hours – Open to visitors
  • 09.15 hours – Bottle feeding
  • 10.00 hours – Herd leaving for the river
  • 12.00 hours – Return from the river
  • 13.15 hours – Bottle feeding
  • 14.00 hours – Herd leaving for the river
  • 16.00 hours – Return from the river
  • 17.00 hours – Bottle feeding
  • 17.30 hours – Ticket counters close
  • 18.00 hours – Close to public

Photos & video sponsored by Shawn Landersz

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