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“The Poor Elephants” 1 of 5 stars
Review of Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage

Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
Colombo-Kandy Road | 90km from Colombo, Pinnawala, Sri Lanka
+94-35-2-26-52-84
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Ranked #1 of 1 things to do in Pinnawala
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Attraction details
Useful Information: Activities for older children
Staffordshire
1 review
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
“The Poor Elephants”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed April 7, 2011

We have just come back from Shri Lanka, the people were good and the places we saw were good, except the elephant orphanage. If you have any emotions for elephants or animals please do not go and support this place. I found that the Shri Lankan people who worked here were consistently prodding an poking these poor animal with long pointed sticks and continually forcing these animals to perform for the public for a few tips. The whole experience disturbed me and from here I would not go near any other elephant attraction to see what I considered was animal cruelty. If this attraction were in England then this place would have been shut down for the way it treats its animals.

Visited April 2011
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Bengaluru (Bangalore), India
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Nice elephant orphenage but watch out for tauts”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2011

Pinnewala is a good place to be in, specially if you like elephants. The place offers various facilities like Feeding milk to baby elephants, bathing elephants, ride etc.

We took the bathing one and it was very good. the mahaut actually made us give a bath to the elephant (and we also got drenched...)
The elephant ride was unique. Unlike in other places, they dont use saddles here. Meaning, you sit on the animal directly (with just a cloth mat on it). So, be prepared for that! Elephant hair is long and pirckly though, so its not very comfortable and stable, but it gives a raw feeling! i liked it.

There are quite a few folks there who want to rip you off, not very common in Sri Lanka, but at this place yes - so do watch out for it.

Visited July 2010
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Surrey, UK
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
“DONT GO THERE”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2011

This is NOT an orphinage, it is a zoo and a bad one at that. The baby's were being fed in a small enclosure surrounded on all sides by people flashing cameras, talking waving things. Remember these are wild animals, there were also a couple of adults to make up the numbers they were swaying about clearly distressed. Outside in the main enclosure, the mostly adult elephants, were hearded up in a dusty paddock to be viewed in the full sun in the heat of the day. There is no programme for releasing these money making animals and it was distressing to see them treated like that. We did not stay long. PLEASE if you want to see orphan elephants visit the Elephant Transit home at Udawallah. There the puplic are kept at a distance from the elephants and they have a programme to release them back into the wild. The Born Free charity backs that one.

Visited February 2011
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Surrey, UK
Senior Contributor
25 reviews 25 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
“DON'T GO THERE”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed March 9, 2011

This is NOT an orphinage, it is a zoo and a bad one at that. The baby's were being fed in a small enclosure surrounded on all sides by people flashing cameras, talking waving things. Remember these are wild animals, there were also a couple of adults to make up the numbers they were swaying about clearly distressed. Outside in the main enclosure the mostly adult elephants were hearded up in a dusty paddock to be viewed in the full sun in the heat of the day. There is no programme for releasing these money making animals and it was distressing to see them treated like that. We did not stay long. PLEASE if you want to see orphan elephants visit the Elephant Transit home at Udawallah. There the puplic are kept at a distance to the elpehants and they have a programme to release them back into the wild. The Born Free charity backs that one.

Visited February 2011
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Leeds, United Kingdom
1 review
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Brilliant!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 8, 2011

Pinnawela Orphanage is wonderful and I would recommend it to all!! I have to disagree with the bah humbug people who feel they had been scammed and paid money to see "performing" "sad" elephants. I asked why some were tied and when you looked it made sense. The male was tethered because he was trying to get to any available female elephant which when you think about the power of him it was tie him up so he could be in the river with the others or he stayed at the shelter on his own! And the only other one I saw with a chain was a female with a tiny baby which new mothers can be aggressive. So I feel (being an true English Animal lover) people looking after them were being sensible! Better tethered than killing someone in a stampede and having to be put down. It was a truly wonderful experience to see them playing in the water and mud!

Visited February 2011
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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