Sri Lanka Elephant Orphanage, Pinnawala - It's Bath Time!!

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Shared July 15, 2018

Baby elephants having fun while bathing at Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage in Sri Lanka.

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage Sri Lanka is an orphanage and breeding ground for wild elephants, which is situated northwest of the town of Kegalle, Sri Lanka. The orphanage is situated in the village of Pinnawala, therefore, sometimes this elephant orphanage is also called “pinnawala orphanage” and “Pinnawala elephant park”. Pinnawala elephant orphanage was founded by the department of wildlife conservation in 1975, on a 25-acre (10 ha) coconut plantation near the Maha Oya river. This Elephant Orphanage was originally founded in order to afford care and protection to the many orphaned elephants found in the jungle. Elephant Orphanage has the greatest herd of elephants in captivity in the world.

Pinnawala elephant orphanage is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Sri Lanka and visited by a Large number of foreign as well as local travellers.

The aim of the Elephant Orphanage is to simulate the natural world. However, there are some exceptions: the elephants are taken to the river twice daily for a bath, and all the babies under three years of age are still bottle fed by the mahouts and volunteers. Each animal is also given around 76 kilograms (170 lb) of green manure a day and around 2 kg (4.4 lb) from a food bag containing rice bran and maize. There is very little food material that they can gather from the premises of the orphanage except for grass. Large quantities of food are brought in daily. The leaves are mainly Coconut leaves (Cocos nucifera), but also branches from Jackfruit (Artocarpus integra), leaves, branches and logs of Kitul palm tree (Caryota urenus), from there is no stress or threat to the animals. Elephants get access to water twice a day, at the river.

The Elephant Orphanage in Pinnawala is very popular among local and foreign tourists. Travellers have the opportunities to witness the elephant bath at Pinnawala, which is really a highlight for most travellers. The herd is heading to the river 2 times a day and spend 2 hours at each occasion. The visitors are enjoy witnessing the interaction of animal, playing and bathing from the riverbank during the bathing hours.

The orphanage is open to the public daily, and all admission fees are used to look after the elephants. Visitors to the park can view many different aspects of the care and daily routine of the elephants, such as bottle feeding of elephant calves, feeding of all other elephants, and bathing. Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage is also the subject of a report by the Born Free Foundation which calls into question the animal welfare at the orphanage.