Today we’ve got a Crikey reader who was lucky enough to visit an elephant orphanage in Sri Lanka…
Crikey reader Beryce Nelson writes: Nothing prepares you for the traffic chaos in Colombo, a city of nine million people and the capital of Sri Lanka. Road rules and line markings seem to be only an option for most drivers. The journey from Colombo to Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage — close to the historic royal city of Kandy — was a hair-raising affair but well-worth the effort.
Opened in 1975, Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage is now Sri Lanka’s best known and most popular tourist destination with many local and international visitors daily. It is a purpose designed and structured natural habitat run by the Sri Lankan National Zoological Service under the control of the Sri Lankan Ministry of Botanical Gardens. It also relies heavily on public donations and is respected and supported by wildlife organisations around the world.
More than 100 elephants currently live at the Pinnawela Orphanage, including a substantial number of healthy calves born in the past two years. Some of these younger elephants are still bottle-fed to supplement their diet and selected female visitors are allowed to assist with this process. Watching them scoff down two litres of milk at a time was pretty impressive and to be able to get up close and personal with these wonderful creatures was a privilege. We were also very fortunate to see a mother elephant with her one-day old baby from a protective distance,. The highlight was sitting in a local cafe overlooking the river and watching the Pinnawela elephants wander slowly through the village to the river where they played for about two hours. What a joy.
Shot using: a 10mgpxl Canon Power Shot Digital Automatic
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