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Kandy, Sri Lanka. Elephant Orphanage

Admit it. It is tough to visualize an elephant orphanage.  Visions of elephants in shorts like Oliver Twist asking “please sir may I have another” were short lived in my great expectations, however they were not replaced with anything very clear.

Originally set up by the government to care for abandoned or orphaned elephants it has now turned into a major tourist attraction and seems to be the economic cornerstone of a small village outside of Kandy named Pinnewala.

It has its critics. The critics are concerned that it has turned into a breeding ground as much as an orphanage, something Oliver Twist never had to concern himself with I am sure. For me, the more pachyderms the merrier. The mahouts(elephant handlers) take really good care of them and they are fed all they can eat without having to ask for another. Other than that they seem to roam free on a large sanctuary.

Twice a day the “orphans” and their parents (whatever) are lead through town to the local river to bath, something elephants love to do.

One elephant they care for is this old guy who survived being shot by a poacher. He still has a bullet in his hide, he still has his tusks, but he is blind. he was very mellow and seemed to enjoy being petted while I aplogized for the cruelty of mankind.

Twice a day the elephants march down main street to the river to bathe. They know they own the place, and they just mosey along.

There are a lot of very young elephants in the herd. They tend to stay together like kids everywhere.

An ancillary industry has grown in Pinnewalla.

Turning elephant poop into paper is actaully an easy process because of the high fiber content of the poop. The elephants eat a lot of bamboo. We were impressed enough to purchase next years Christmas cards. So if you want a Christmas card made of elephant poop, leave me a comment!

And of course you can have lunch while watching the elephants play in the river! By the way, the Lion brand beer is pretty damn good and does not taste like elephant piss.

So thats it for the Pinnewala Elephant Orphanage. In keeping with my pledge to do more and shorter posts. I will wait a day to tell yu about the Royal Botanical Gardens, and then the top attraction in Kandy…THE TEMPLE OF TOOTH!

Please pass this along. Make a comment and you get an elephant poop Christmas card! Thank you for reading.

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5 Responses so far.

  1. Sri Lanka is an intriguing city to visit with its rich history and culture. Like all other countries, it would be a site to behold when one compares it to what you have been used to. There are several things you can see and do in this place to make this an enriching experience.

  2. Very good written article. It will be helpful to anybody who usess it, including yours truly :). Keep doing what you are doing – for sure i will check out more posts.

  3. Randy S. says:

    If you send me an elephant poop card, I can cross another item off my bucket list. Thank you very much kind sir.

  4. Leeann says:

    Hey, another great post. 2013 Rose Parade theme is Oh The Places you’ll Go. With you it’s Oh the places you’ve been. Happy to hear you will be posting more often. When you don’t I daydream about the cool stuff that I know you’re doing. Love to you both…don”t forget my Christmas card.:)

  5. Kelly ZumBerge says:

    Thanks Forrest. I enjoy reading your blog and love hearing the elephants are being well taken care of.

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