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Elephant Orphanage in Sri Lanka

When we arrived in a brand new Asian country for us, the very first thing to do on our list was the elephant orphanage. At first, I thought it wasn’t anything special, because the first elephants I saw were in the covered corral. They were feeding a baby a bottle, and offered to let people help, but it was somewhat like a zoo. However, right away one of the mahouts told us to follow him. He was going out into the palm field to call in the other elephants and walk them to the river.

He called and they came lumbering their way towards us. One youngster pushed and pulled us, propelling us with him. A mahout scolded him, and he even looked a bit impish and pushed us one more time, just like any precocious youngster pushing his boundaries. It was fantastic.

Elephant Orphanage in Sri Lanka.

All of us, elephants, mahouts, and visitors walked down to the river where we watched the elephants drink, bathe, play, run, and just have a fun time. Many crowded on the edge of the water, some waded in, and three teenagers looked like they were making a break for it. I swear I could almost see them sneak out their cigarettes and turn their backs on authority…hmmm.

Visiting the orphanage was a perfect way to start off our Sri Lankan visit and I would highly recommend it to anyone who goes. Sri Lanka is a great backpackers destination.

Have you been to Sri Lanka? Did you go to the elephant orphanage? Tell the truth, did you buy those youngsters some cigarettes?

Author Bio: Corinne Vail is a travel photographer, food lover, and a perpetual traveler who has been travel writing for over 14 years. For many years she lived overseas in Germany, Japan, Turkey, South Korea, and the Netherlands teaching the children of the US. military. She’s visited over 90 countries, and she’s not stopping anytime soon.


Thursday 17th of March 2016

They are way too cute!! :) Were you allowed to touch or feed them?

Corinne Vail

Friday 18th of March 2016

As a matter of fact, we could. One little guy wanted to play!


Wednesday 19th of March 2014

I've never been to Sri Lanka but touching, riding and feeding elephants is definitely on my bucket list. but i don't understand the cigarette thing.

Corinne Vail

Monday 24th of March 2014

Hi Kay, The cigarette was just a joke. I loved the elephants!

Becky Padmore

Thursday 13th of March 2014

Beautiful creatures, I only ever visit sanctuaries so this place would be right up my street!

Corinne Vail

Thursday 13th of March 2014

Becky It really is awesome. We were able to walk among and interact with the animals. We all loved it.


Wednesday 12th of March 2014

Oh my gosh I have a friend who just there not too long ago, Corinne! I absolutely love, love elephants - so regal and majestic. I would want to take the baby home with me...I know, it would grow up :)

Corinne Vail

Wednesday 12th of March 2014

Mike, I think that elephants, albeit expensive to feed maybe, would make the best companions. They have so much smart! I think Phoenix would teach him right, too!

Amy @ Ms. Toody Goo Shoes

Tuesday 11th of March 2014

Oh, WOW! I would love to see this! I have not been Sri Lanka. That little baby elephant on the left is so adorable!

Corinne Vail

Wednesday 12th of March 2014

Amy - Isn't he, though? It was an awesome animal encounter. All the elephants exhibited such personality. I loved it.