Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage has become a victim of commercialization, harming the welfare and health of the many captive native Asian elephants that are kept there. Originally an orphanage and breeding center, Pinanawala was formed to conserve orphaned baby elephants that were lost in the wilderness. However, due to the large inflow of tourists, the ‘zoo’ has now become a money making excuse. The park is overpriced, and the staff often charges large amounts of money for trivial things like taking pictures of the elephants. Visitors often complain about the poor way in which the elephants are treated, be it through lethal chains or deprivation of food. However, watching elephants bathe and play in the river is a pleasant sight, and of course, a free one too! Other than that, every other activity at Pinnawala is chargeable, including feeding the baby elephants.
An interesting attraction at Pinnawala is to see how elephant dung is used to make paper, and tourists can purchase this paper at a souvenir shop. Other than these little attractions, Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, is no more an orphanage in its true sense, and one will require just about an hour to finish visiting it.
THINGS TO KNOW
Sinhala, Tamil and English