We went there as part of an organised tour to Kandy. What used to be an elephant orphanage for actual baby elephant orphans, is now a money making elephant circus for tourists. The ugly truth is that they are capturing wild elephants (who aren't real orphans) and put them into this place, chain them up and beat them into submission until they are obedient, and then use them to extort as much money out of tourists as possible.
There was also an elephant who had one leg blown off by a landmine years ago - anyone with a grain of common sense will know that with the weight of an elephant, it is cruel to keep such an animal alive - it just stood there looking really miserable leaning against large posts as it struggle to stand upright, looking on whilst the other elephants were being fed and he just ignored. Its back was totally lobsided from overcompensating on having just 3 legs. The most merciful thing would be to put this animal down.
Then there are the staff (zookeepers) who will offer to take a photograph of you with your camera, and then demand a minimum of €10 for their service before giving you your camera back. Take your own photograhs and don't fall into this trap.
It was so dissapointing but sadly the authorities won't do anything about the cruelty of the situation as it makes so much money out of tourists. Unfortunately everyone there, apart from the poor elephants, gains benefit.
The only thing that can help these beautiful, sad creatures is if tourists don't support this place.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.