Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

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The Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage is found northwest of the city “Kegalle”. The Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage was founded in 1975 by the Department of wildlife. The entire compound was created on a twenty 5 acre land. The orphanage’s primary motive was to give a safe and secure environment to all the baby elephants held in its captivity. In most of these cases the mother had either died or been killed. In some instances the baby had fallen into a pit. At first, the orphanage had seven baby elephants that formed its core. Currently it’s a conservation and education center. In 1984 a baby elephant was given birth to within the compound, which was an excellent accomplishment since it meant breeding was possible. The main income for sustenance of the orphanage are from both local and foreign guests. There are only a few of the elephant orphanages in the whole world. Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage has now become one among the worlds the largest and successful orphanages and its name is world recognized.

There are over eighty retired, abused or orphaned elephants at this renowned Orphanage. The Orphanage is a sanctuary for rescued, livid or abused elephants. Guests from all over the world come to see these impressive animals. There are also some little babies that have been born in the herd. The daily highlight is the walk from the Orphanage down to the river to bathe the elephants. It’s wonderful to look at an entire herd splashing around and rolling in the river, simply a few feet in front of you!

The Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage helps this Human-Elephant conflict by giving the orphaned elephants a wonderfully happy and healthy life, as well as allowing for natural social behaviour, good medical treatment and food satisfaction.

The Orphanage is reputedly one of the biggest centres of its kind in the world, with one of the most successful captive breeding programmes for Asian elephants.


Today Closed UTC+5.5

08:00 - 17:30
  • Monday
    08:30 - 17:30
  • Tuesday
    08:30 - 17:30
  • Wednesday
    08:00 - 17:30
  • Thursday
    08:00 - 17:30
  • Friday
    08:00 - 17:30
  • Saturday
    08:00 - 17:30
  • Sunday
    08:30 - 17:30


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