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Ways to Experience Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
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Reviewed yesterday

awesome day spent with many giants, i feed some baby elephants, hotel pinnalanda supported me to do all refreshments and guided me about pinnawala things to do.

Thank Neelaka N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 days ago

We visited Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage again, the first time was 2007, certainly another highlight was According to our guide there are nearly 100 orphaned elephants here and we got to see them be playful with each other, walk through the sanctuary, saw them being fed milk (members of the public can do this but there is only a limited number of tickets available, if I recall rightly its only 30), What an unbelievable sight it is to see them walking down the street towards the river for their bathing (10-12 and 2-4).
They blow a siren warns of approaching elephants to signal that the elephants are on the way, you can stand within 2 feet or so of the procession. Once safe, make your way back to the rocks by the water. This is an excellent vantage point to enjoy the spectacle. when all merchants guided all tourists inside and took their merchandise inside as well. Then dozens of elephants marched through the 200m market street and some bags and t-shirts feel down to the ground as they had passed by so close to the shops including the poo shop.
The keepers or mahouts also carry "guide sticks" to help direct the elephants to the bathing river etc. They never hit or hurt the elephants with these sticks, they just use them gently to guide them safely across the roads etc. Then we positioned ourselves on the verandah of the Hotel, where to also had lunch overlooking the river & got a really good view of the Elephants being washed & playing in the water.

1  Thank Cricketman_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 days ago

Has a collection of injured or orphaned elephants but the entry fee and charges for bathing, feeding and riding the elephants is very high and not worth it.

Thank NikhilJ600
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 days ago via mobile

It was really a good time spent with loveable giants. The awesomeness of place is it has river where these giants taking bath and playing with waters. You will love it when you see them. Another good experience is to feed them. I was lucky to feed these giants. Unfortunately limited days to feeb baby elephants, so i was not lucky to see them. Make sure you confirm the schedules for these guys. Go for it.. enjoy it.

1  Thank SujeetP42
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 days ago via mobile

Please do not go to this dreadful place! Shame on the people for allowing the abuse of these beautiful, intelligent animals to happen. The elephants were getting taunted by their handlers and were getting spiked with sticks with metal spears on the end for no reason what so ever. It was evident they were scared. Some were tied up by the leg so they could barely move on a concrete floor. The small paddock area was a disgrace with elephants in obvious distress. I left this place very very sad and angry this is allowed to happen. If you want to see elephants visit a national park.

1  Thank S2946WPannal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 week ago

It was very sad to see some of the elephants chained in solitary confinement. The reason that they are adults and may pose a threat to others at certain times does not seem a true statement. This as supposed to be an orphanage but it is clearly also a breeding program. We were told that the animals are never released into the wild, surely other species can be rehabilitated so that seemed so wrong. We went to see the animals bathing in the river and were disgusted to see a young elephant walked down the road heavily chained and tethered to a rock when in the water, It was clearly distressed and only settled when an older one was allowed near it. Many of the others were chained to rings embedded on the rocks. Most of them didn't seem too stressed by this but I suppose they don't know any other life.

Thank gilld969
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 week ago

I was so looking forward to seeing the elephants. At first it looks lovely when you get to the elephants, they are all in the river, but I started looking closely and noticed one elephant on his own at the back on his own, he looked very distressed swaying from side to side and chained down. I tried to ask questions but no one wanted to answer me! Then there was another one with the herd that was also chained down. The mahuttes have sticks with sharp ends on them, the elephants did not look relaxed I come away feeling very angry and upset. When you visit the orphanage across the road, there were 4 males chained down in the park, this should not happen, again when you ask questions you get excuses, like they need to do this for safety reasons. I never got to see them feed or wash them that was at a different time, so I cannot comment. Not sure you should visit this park, there are lots of other parks where the elephants are wild, I I feel it’s for tourists, not sure I would call it an orphanage??

1  Thank Sandra H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 week ago

Read a lot of extreme comments of this site beforehand. This place was highly recommended by the agent and was a midpoint from capital to Dambulla.

We spent an hour here for a short walk with the elephant, feed with fruit, and watched it at bath in the river. Each elephant had an assigned caretaker to look after and as per the guide, the elephant would only be chained at night during sleep and no wounds or marks could be found at the elephant leg which caused by the chain. Literally there was no evident to prove if they treated the elephant in a proper manner or not in just an hour stay.

To us, this spot could be omitted as we would visit Minneriya National Park seeing the wild elephant 2 days after this. Recommend to go for the wild elephant instead of seeing the caged.

1  Thank Daybreak1229
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 week ago

Went to this orphanage couple of days back. Was a wonderful experience. There is a disclosure / notice board indicating why the elephants are chained. The animals are well maintained. You can also feed milk / fruits, subject to conditions that you have to buy the stuff at the location. Enjoyable. Overall its a good experience.

1  Thank Aditya S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

Many of the elephants were chained and appeared distressed. I am disappointed that the elephants are not being prepared to be returned to the wild. I do not recommend visiting this elephant tourist attraction.

2  Thank Joe S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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