Pinnawala happened to be my first stop in Sri Lanka, on the way to Kandy. I had earlier seen photographs of elephants of the orphanage. However, nothing comes close to seeing it firsthand. They were in the river, taking a bath or grazing. It was quite a sight to see a family of elephants so close to me, that I could have probably petted them. They might have sprayed me with muddy water though, mind you!
A family of elephants at Pinnawala
Look forward to:
Two of the special activities that you can look forward to are the elephants taking bath and baby elephants being fed. As you go closer to the river, you see many elephants sun bathing and enjoying their dip in the pool. In fact, one of the giants loved his dip so much that he went to sleep right there in the middle of the river. In fact, a few spectators confused him with a rock until I pointed out the trunk that was sticking out at a distance from him!
Bath time! (Can you spot the sleepy elephant?)
Baby elephants are kept in twos and are fed one after the other. The baby elephants loved the attention they got from the humans watching their show and sometimes even came forward to hold hands (in this case, I should probably say trunk). Their caretaker fed them and took them back to their play area. It was here that I made friends with one of the babies. The baby ‘ele’ kept reaching out (his trunks again, I tell you) and when I reached out, he just held on tight! For someone like me, who is crazy about the adorable and cute beings, I flew straight to cloud nine.
Take your time…
It is important to not rush yourself as you move from one part of the orphanage to other. There is some kind of interesting ‘ele’ activity happening all around. I was able to sight a tusker throwing a fit, a family of ‘eles’ having a fun day rolling in the mud and more. The orphanage does chain the elephants, and as explained by the caretakers, it is not just for the safety of the visitors but also the animals themselves. So maybe you should give this a chance the next time you are in Sri Lanka!