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Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

  • Things to do
  • Rambukkana
  1. An elephant sanctuary
    © BT Images
  2. An elephant sanctuary
    © BT Images
  3. An elephant sanctuary
    © BT Images

Time Out says

This former orphanage today acts as a tourist attraction of elephants.

Pinnawala was set up in 1975 to care for orphaned elephants, and now has the largest herd of captive elephants in the world. Today the nearly 100 elephants are mostly descendants of the ones who were originally orphaned, and a separate closed facility cares for newly orphaned calves. Pinnawala is now maintained through the money it receives from tourism, and also acts as a breeding centre for elephants, who are later donated to temples and private owners. Those concerned about animal welfare should note that there are concerns about the treatment of the animals at Pinnawala, and most of the elephants are chained up. 


North of Kegalle, off Rambukkana Road
Opening hours:
Daily 8.30am–5.30pm; Feeding times: 09.15am, 1.15pm, 5pm; Bathing times: 10am–noon, 2pm-4pm
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