Saturday, March 31, 2012

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

In the last post for now about looking back at old trips and old photos, I wanted to post and share the visit I made in 2004 to the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage.

This was a trip to go to the cricket in Colombo, but upon arriving with a couple of days up my sleeve, I went to Kandy first. Along with visiting the Temple of the Tooth, I managed to get out to see the elephants, before getting the train back to Colombo.

Pinnawala is a village in Kegalle District of Sri Lanka and was just a local bus ride out of Kandy. This was one of those amazing travel experiences, just getting out there, figuring out which bus, and also squeezing onto the bus with the locals. These are the times when being white and kinda blonde stands out the most!

According to this site, through a quick Google search:
The Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage was started in 1975 by the Department of Wildlife on a twenty five acre coconut property on the Maha Oya river at Rambukkana. The orphanage was primarily designed to afford care and protection to the many baby elephants found in the jungle without their mothers. In most of these cases the mother had either died or been killed.

At Pinnawala you can feed baby elephants, and even take part in their bathing, but from memory the time of day of my visit didn't allow for this. But just being in the same paddock as this cobbled-together herd of elephants, adults and babies, was just surreal.

Such an amazing travel experience.

1 comment:

  1. Nice to see this was built out of a need rather than for tourism like many of the others.


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