Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage

Established in 1975, commenced with seven orphans. Today some of these orphans enjoy the fortune of seeing their grandchildren born in the same location. The original objective of establishing the orphanage inclined more towards tourism, but is soon became a conservation and educational center. With the help of local and foreign elephant experts, Pinnawela started a scientific captive breeding programmer for elephants. The free movement of the herd enhanced the chances for respective individuals of both sexes to get together and mate. The nearby river played a dominant role in this regard, and in 1984, the first baby of Pinnawela was born. The success story of Pinnawela has drawn the attention of scientists from all over the world. A considerable number of books and research articles on Pinnawela have been published in several languages. The members of the Pinnawela herd have been filmed, videoed and photographed thousands of times by professionals.

From its humble beginnings of just 5 orphan elephants, the park has grown into a world famous elephant orphanage with 69 Asian elephants. At Pinnawala an attempt was made to simulate, in a limited way, the conditions in the wild. Animals are allowed to roam freely during the day and a herd structure is allowed to form. See baby jumbos wondering around their cramped foster home or bottle fed and bathed by their human foster fathers at Pinnawala, about 90Km from Colombo towards Kandy is the home to some 60 or more elephant orphans. A place you will really enjoy and never forget. Most orphans are accustomed to their curious human visitors are harmless.

Started in 1972 the Elephant Orphanage was relocated to at the present site in 1975 Bathing time at Ma Oya just in front of the orphanage is sharp at 10.00am and 2.00pm. Feeding time is about an hour earlier.

Daily activities in Pinnawala

At Pinnawela an attempt was made to simulate, in a limited way, the conditions in the wild. Animals are allowed to roam freely during the day and a herd structure allowed to form.

08.00 a.m. - The babies are fed on milk in the mornings and allowed to range freely on the 12 acres large grassland.10.00 a.m.- Each morning and afternoon 14.00 p.m. the animals are walked 400 meters to the river Maha Oya for a two-hour bath.

Between 16.30 p.m. and 1800 p.m. - in the evening the animals are taken to their stalls and tethered for the night.