Situated about 90 km northeast of Colombo, Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage is one of the most popular places visited by many tourist. It was started in 1975 by the Sri Lanka Department of Wildlife Conservation with the introduction of 05 abandoned baby elephants. It’s currently a home to 93 elephants.
Pinnawala (Pinnawela) Elephant Orphanage can be reached via the A1 Colombo – Kandy main road. A turn off at the 82 km post at Kegalle leads you to the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. The closest railway station is at Rambukkana 2km away from the village of Pinnawala.
The primary purpose of the orphanage has been to provide a lifeline to the orphaned baby elephants and adult elephants lost in the wilderness. In many occasions the mother of the orphaned baby elephant had been killed or there have been accidents of baby elephants falling into pits and losing out to the herd. There were also instances the mother elephant had fallen into a pit and died leaving the baby elephant lost in the jungle. There are instances of adult elephants being killed by farmers to protect their paddy fields and crops resulting in baby elephants being orphaned.