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2009 Elephant Orphanage, Sri Lanka.

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The Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage, established in 1975, commenced with seven orphans. Today some of these orphans enjoy the fortune of seeing their grandchildren born in the same location. The original objective of establishing the orphanage inclined more towards tourism, but is soon became a conservation and educational centre. With the help of local and foreign elephant experts, Pinnawala started a scientific captive-breeding programme for elephants. The free movement of the herd enhanced the chances for respective individuals of both sexes to get together and mate. The nearby river played a dominant role in this regard, and in 1984, the first baby elephant of Pinnawala was born. Before the arrival of the British in 1815 an estimated 30,000 elephants lived on the island. In the 1960s, the elephant population was close to extinction. This prompted the Sri Lankan government to found an orphanage for elephants that had lost their mothers or herds. Today, their number is around 3,000. Pinnawala, about 80 km northeast of Colombo, is regarded as the biggest herd of captive elephants in the world. The elephant herd in Pinnawala makes the journey to the river twice a day to bathe under the eyes of the tourists. Some 110 people are employed to care for the herd feeding them with leaves from palm trees. About 14,000 kg of food are needed every day. The Pinnawala elephant orphanage is financed by the government and by charging visitors to see the animals.
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Elephant, Orphanage, Sri, Lanka, Pinnawala, elefante, colombo, ceylon, Pinnawela
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