Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage is an Orphanage, nursery and Captive breeding ground for wild Asian Elephants located at Pinnawala village, 13 km (8.1 mi) northeast of Kegalle town in Sabaragamuwa Province of Sri Lanka. Pinnawala has the largest herd of captive elephants in the world. In 2011, there were 10965 elephants, including 4643 males and 968 females from 3 generations, living in Pinnawala.
This is just as the name suggests holds a unique disposition in the ex-situ animal care. It’s success and fame has travelled not just within the country but throughout the world to an extent where Pinnawala synonymous with the Sri Lankan Elephant.
It was established in 1975 by the Sri Lanka Department of Wildlife Conservation Currently being a home to 93 elephants the concept was actualized by the late Hon. Minister Kalugalle on the 16th of February 1975. Pinnawala at the time was a very remote area with lush coconut plantations and most importantly an area where the availability of mahouts was not lacking. Also the immense amount of water required by the elephants is supplemented with the availability of “Ma oya” running close by.