Category Archives: Wildlife

Rescued Baby Elephant To Remain in Care For 3 to 4 Years

rescued elephant calfThe baby elephant that fell down a drain in Hambantota hit world news as its rescue was captured on video and went viral amongst the world news channels.

The follow-up on this story is that the baby elephant has suffered a fracture in its leg. After treatment at the Uda Walawe Elephant Transit Home, the baby elephant was introduced back to its mother but the mother has refused to feed it. This is not unusual, in that after becoming in close contact with humans, mother elephants can smell the human smell on the baby elephant. This is also why for example when releasing elephants back into the wild, they need to do as a group, as no single elephant raised by humans would be accepted back into a wild herd.

The baby elephant will now be kept at the Elephant Transit Home for three to four years, until it can fend for itself before its release into the wild with others. Meanwhile it is being bottle fed to ensure that it receives the correct nutritional balance of milk supplements at this stage in its life.

Millennium Elephant Foundation, Sri Lanka

The Millennium Elephant Foundation

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The Millennium Elephant Foundation (MEF) is situated on a beautiful 15 acre estate known as ‘Samaragiri’, which has been home to the Samarasinghe family for many generations. The family has owned elephants since the 1960’s. In 1979 Mr Sam Samarasinghe (1939 – 1991) an animal lover opened the estate to the public as the Club Concept Elephant Bath.

The Millennium Elephant Foundation (NGO) charity was founded in Sam’s memory in August 1999 with the assistance of a world renowned animal charity.

MEF has been working continually to improve the care, protection and treatment of elephants in Sri Lanka by providing a place of care, medical services and facilities. Charity Number 457. Millennium Elephant Foundation is the only certified non-profit Organisation working with captive elephants in Sri Lanka.

10306768_620335051384346_5415450770060787709_nThe Millennium Elephant Foundation (MEF) was the first place to offer bareback elephant riding with an educational theme in Sri Lanka offering people the chance to interact with elephants in a safe and responsible way for both the person and elephant, whilst learning about the plight of elephants in Asia.

They have never used a howdah/seat which is really bad for elephants – only bareback, which is less stress on the elephant. However times are changing and they want to offer an alternative to riding and start a transition to stop elephant riding at MEF.

eph22There are 9 elephants that either permanently or temporarily reside at the sanctuary. These elephants are taken care of by 13 local mahouts and a number of foreign volunteers. Since its inception, MEF has cared for more than 80 elephants.

The foundation is funded predominantly by tourists fees and volunteer donations. This money is used to develop and improve conditions for the elephants at MEF, as well as run an education program for farmers and their families in Habarana.

MEF strives to improve the care and treatment of Sri Lankan elephants whilst increasing awareness about the crippling conditions many of them face throughout the country. Tourists can observe and assist with their daily washing in the river that runs through the grounds. The funds generated from visitors are used to maintain the elephants’ well-being, and to enable the care and rescue of more captive elephants. MEF ensures that it strictly abides by the guidelines set by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority.

MEF are transitioning to stop elephant riding by offering an alternative. Guests can have an educational talk, tour of our museum, bathe an elephant, visit the Maximus elephant dung paper factory and then instead of riding, walk with an elephant within the grounds whilst learning about Sri Lankan elephants.

This is a huge change here in Sri Lanka.

Elephant Walk Experience


The Elephant Walk Experience is the first step to MEF’s main goal of transitioning to non elephant riding, with your help and those of other guests and tour companies making the switch they will be able to do this. It will take time but they are determined to achieve their goal.

The walking package enables guests a much more interactive and close up experience, unlike bareback riding, elephants get the opportunity to walk at a leisurely pace and forage, while you casually stroll behind the elephant watching their every move and admiring the sheer size of these beautiful animals.

Elephant Walk Experience Program:

• Personalised guide for your whole tour.
• Educational talk by an expert about the Foundation, elephants and a tour of the museum
• At least a 30 minutes walk with an elephant around the grounds watching and observing the elephant whilst learning about Sri Lankan elephants
• Bathing the same elephant in the river, with only your group without other tourists
• Optional shower whilst standing next to the elephant
• Free entrance and tour of the Maximus Elephant Dung Paper Factory
• Optional 3 course lunch – including tea or coffee
• The whole experience lasts around 3-4 hours
• Cost is $43 per person
• Cost is $35 per person (without lunch)
• Children 3 years and under are free
• Children aged 4 to 12 years are half price

For more information click HERE. To BOOK your Elephant Walk Experience click HERE

Baby Elephant Rescued from Storm Drain in Sri Lanka

baby elephant rescued from storm drainThe event of the saving of a baby elephant caught in a storm drain in Hambantota has reached world news.

From CBS news in USA to the BBC in the UK, the event has been broadcasted as a a story of animal interest.

Having fallen down a concrete storm drain, workers hammered their way at an interconnecting slab of concrete to widen the gap, before managing to pull the elephant to rescue.

We all wish the little beauty the best of health.

The video can be seen HERE