Elephant locations in Sri Lanka

82 locations has kept elephants in Sri Lanka

There is presently 254 (99,113) living elephants in locations in Sri Lanka (in this database)

Region: Sri Lanka is in this database included in asiaOther regions
Wild elephants:

Sri Lanka has about 5879 (min. 5879, max. 5879) wild elephants. Source:Fernando et al. (2011)

Location holdings:

82 locations has kept 344 elephants in Sri Lanka

(Database tables with collection of elephants further down on the page)

Elephants in locations254 (99,113) living90 (47,21) dead
Sex ratio and
Management:
 Male  99 / 254 
 39%
 Female  113 / 254 
 44%
 Free contact  154 / 254 
 61%
 Protected contact  0 / 254  0%
 No contact  0 / 254  0%
 Unknown contact  3 / 254 
 1%
 wild  89 / 254 
 35%

Sri Lanka is an island with a land area of approximately 62,000 km2 situated in the Indian Ocean, 35 km from the southern end of the Indian Peninsula.

In Sri Lanka nearly 120 wild elephants are killed by humans and in return about 65 people die after being attacked by elephants every year. Man-elephant conflicts are the major cause for the elephant killings whilst a number of elephants were run over by trains accidentally. In some other cases elephants were killed as they fell in man-made structures like farming wells.

2004: In 2004 a rare albino elephant was spotted roaming Sri Lankas Ruhunu National Park, the first recorded sighting in the country.

2011: The first-ever nationwide elephant census in August 2011 produced a total of 7,379 jumbos across the island: 5,879 of them were spotted near parks and sanctuaries, while another 1,500 were estimated to be living in other areas. (Earlier 2 000-3 000, Santiapillai, IUCN1996, SUKUMAR 2008)

Captive elephants


1946: In 1946 Sri Lanka was said to have 736 elephants in captivity (Santiapillai and de Silva, 1994)

1955: there were said to still be 670 elephants (Deraniyagala, 1955).

1967: census conducted by the University of Peradeniya and the Smithsonian Elephant Research Programme showed 532 elephants, with two owned by government and the remaining 530 in private hands (Jayasinghe and Jainudeen, 1970). In the early 1980s a census conducted by the DWLC listed 344 elephants, including 29 tuskers and 154 mukhnas (Anon., 1982d); but A.B. Fernando, who handed the mimeographed single page to the author, estimated that about 10% were uncounted, the addition of which would give about 380 elephants (A.B. Fernando, 1988).

Reference list

Koehl, D., Facts about elephants in Sri Lanka. Elephant Encyclopedia, (2020) available online retrieved at https://www.elephant.se/country.php?name=Sri Lanka. (archived at the Wayback machine)

Sources, among others

NameElephant collectionTypePlaceDistrictProvinceStateRegion
P.R. Karunarathna
Kept totally 1 elephants
, 0 present (0,0)0 births0 relocated1 deathsprivateHemmathagama
Anamaduwa Wev Pitiya
Kept totally 1 elephants
, 0 present (0,0)0 births1 relocated0 deathscampPuttalam
Anamaduwe Dhammadassi Thera
Kept totally 1 elephants
, 1 present (1,0)0 births0 relocated0 deathsprivate
Anuradhapura forest
Kept totally 12 elephants
, 0 present (0,0)9 births12 relocated0 deathswild
B. B. Yayasekhara
Kept totally 1 elephants
, 0 present (0,0)0 births0 relocated1 deathsprivateDompe
Bellanwila Rajamaha Viharaya temple
Kept totally 3 elephants
, 2 present (2,0)0 births0 relocated1 deathstempleBoralesgamuwa
Bentota Tourist Complex elephant orphanage
Kept totally 7 elephants
, 0 present (0,0)0 births7 relocated0 deathsorphanageBentotaSouthern province
Ceylon Department of Civil Engineering
Kept totally 6 elephants
, 0 present (0,0)0 births2 relocated4 deathscampKurunegala
Ceylon department of the commissioner of roads
Kept totally 2 elephants
, 0 present (0,0)0 births0 relocated2 deathscampColombo
Ceylon Zoological Gardens Company
Kept totally 3 elephants
, 0 present (0,0)0 births3 relocated0 deathszooDehivela, Colombo
Champis elephant safari
Kept totally 0 elephants
, 0 present (0,0)0 births0 relocated0 deathscampKegalle
D. S. Senanayake
Kept totally 1 elephants
, 0 present (0,0)0 births1 relocated0 deathsprivate
D.A.W. Kannangara
Kept totally 1 elephants
, 0 present (0,0)0 births0 relocated1 deathsprivate
Delgamu temple
Kept totally 1 elephants
, 1 present (1,0)0 births0 relocated0 deathstempleRatnapura
Deraniyagala Sri Saman Devalaya
Kept totally 1 elephants
, 1 present (1,0)0 births0 relocated0 deathstempleDeraniyagala
Devinda Senanayake
Kept totally 1 elephants
, 0 present (0,0)0 births0 relocated1 deathsprivateKerala
Devinuwara Upulwan Sri Vishnu Devalaya
Kept totally 1 elephants
, 0 present (0,0)0 births1 relocated0 deathstempleMatara
Dutugemunu of Anuradhapura
Kept totally 2 elephants
, 0 present (0,0)0 births0 relocated2 deathsprivateAnuradhapura
Gangaramaya Temple
Kept totally 4 elephants
, 1 present (1,0)0 births1 relocated2 deathstempleColombo
Giritale Elephant Transit Home Medical Centre
Kept totally 5 elephants
, 1 present (0,1)0 births4 relocated0 deathshospitalPolonnaruwa
H. L. Yajarathna
Kept totally 1 elephants
, 0 present (0,0)0 births1 relocated0 deathsprivateRatnapura
Hambantota wildlife zone
Kept totally 5 elephants
, 4 present (1,3)0 births1 relocated0 deathswildHambantotaSouthern Province
J.P.I. Piyadasa
Kept totally 0 elephants
, 0 present (0,0)0 births0 relocated0 deathsprivate
James Emerson Tennent
Kept totally 1 elephants
, 0 present (0,0)0 births1 relocated0 deathsprivateColombo
John Hagenbeck
Kept totally 7 elephants
, 0 present (0,0)0 births7 relocated0 deathsdealerColombo
K.G. Punchi Apuhami
Kept totally 3 elephants
, 0 present (0,0)0 births0 relocated3 deathsprivateKegalla
K.G. Sumarasekere
Kept totally 1 elephants
, 1 present (0,0)0 births0 relocated0 deathsprivate
Kaduwela Kotalawela Sankapitti Vihara
Kept totally 1 elephants
, 1 present (1,0)0 births0 relocated0 deathstempleKaduwela
Kandalama Walauwa
Kept totally 2 elephants
, 0 present (0,0)0 births2 relocated0 deathsprivateKandalamaMirigama, Western Sri Lanka
Kandy Sri Dalada Maligawa Temple of the Tooth
Kept totally 16 elephants
, 8 present (8,0)0 births2 relocated6 deathstempleKandy
Kataragama Kiri Vehera Dewalaya
Kept totally 3 elephants
, 3 present (3,0)0 births0 relocated0 deathstempleKataragama
Kelaniya Raja Maha Vihara temple
Kept totally 2 elephants
, 2 present (2,0)0 births0 relocated0 deathstempleKelaniya
Kotte Rajamaha Viahara
Kept totally 1 elephants
, 0 present (0,0)0 births0 relocated1 deathstempleKotte
Kurunegala District
Kept totally 1 elephants
, 0 present (0,0)0 births0 relocated1 deathswildKurunegalaNorth Western Province
Kurunegala forest
Kept totally 5 elephants
, 0 present (0,0)1 births5 relocated0 deathswildKurunegala
Lahugala Elephant Sanctuary
Kept totally 1 elephants
, 0 present (0,0)0 births1 relocated0 deathswildPolonnaruwa
Lucky Bandaranayake
Kept totally 1 elephants
, 0 present (0,0)0 births0 relocated1 deathsprivatePamunuwa, Mawanella
Lunugamvehera National park
Kept totally 4 elephants
, 4 present (3,1)0 births0 relocated0 deathswildLunugamvehera
Maduru Oya National Park
Kept totally 6 elephants
, 4 present (1,1)1 births2 relocated0 deathswildPolonnaruwaUva Province
Maharagama Temple
Kept totally 3 elephants
, 3 present (0,1)0 births0 relocated0 deathstempleMaharagamaWestern Province
Mahiyangana Raja Maha Viharaya
Kept totally 1 elephants
, 1 present (1,0)0 births0 relocated0 deathstempleMahayangana
Matara elephant stables
Kept totally 0 elephants
, 0 present (0,0)0 births0 relocated0 deathsdealerMatara
Matara Weherahena temple
Kept totally 2 elephants
, 2 present (1,1)0 births0 relocated0 deathstempleMatara
Millennium Elephant Foundation
Kept totally 11 elephants
, 9 present (4,5)0 births1 relocated1 deathsprivateKegalle
Minneriya national park
Kept totally 3 elephants
, 3 present (0,1)3 births0 relocated0 deathswildPolonnaruwa
Molagoda elephant village camp
Kept totally 10 elephants
, 5 present (2,3)0 births1 relocated4 deathscampMolagoda
Morahena Watte
Kept totally 1 elephants
, 0 present (0,0)0 births1 relocated0 deathsprivateAthurugiriya
Morawatte Temple
Kept totally 1 elephants
, 0 present (0,0)0 births1 relocated0 deathstempleKegalleSabaragamuwa Province
Nawagaththegama jungle
Kept totally 1 elephants
, 0 present (0,0)1 births1 relocated0 deathswildPuttalam
Nawala businessman
Kept totally 1 elephants
, 1 present (0,0)0 births0 relocated0 deathszooNawala, KotteWestern Province
Olaboduwe Ralahami
Kept totally 1 elephants
, 0 present (0,0)0 births1 relocated0 deathsprivate
P.W.Wijegunawardene
Kept totally 4 elephants
, 0 present (0,0)0 births4 relocated0 deathsprivate
Panagoda army camp
Kept totally 3 elephants
, 0 present (0,0)0 births3 relocated0 deathsprivateKalutara
Panamure elephant kraal (Panamura Ethgala)
Kept totally 30 elephants
, 0 present (0,0)0 births17 relocated13 deathsdealerSabaragamuwa
Pelmadulla Purana Rajamaha Viharaya
Kept totally 2 elephants
, 1 present (1,0)0 births0 relocated1 deathstemplePelmadulla
Pinnawala elephant orphanage
Kept totally 146 elephants
, 70 present (22,37)66 births53 relocated23 deathsorphanageKegalle
Pinnawala elephant safari
Kept totally 3 elephants
, 2 present (0,2)0 births1 relocated0 deathscampKegalle
Pinnawala Zoo
Kept totally 2 elephants
, 2 present (2,0)0 births0 relocated0 deathszooKegalle
Polwatte temple
Kept totally 2 elephants
, 1 present (1,0)0 births0 relocated1 deathstempleKollupitiya
Pradeep Nilanga Dela Bandara
Kept totally 2 elephants
, 2 present (0,0)0 births0 relocated0 deathsprivateKandy
Ragama temple (unknown name)
Kept totally 1 elephants
, 0 present (0,0)0 births0 relocated1 deathstempleRagama
Ridi Vihara (Silver temple)
Kept totally 1 elephants
, 1 present (0,1)0 births0 relocated0 deathstempleKandy
Ridiyagama Safari park
Kept totally 2 elephants
, 2 present (2,0)0 births0 relocated0 deathszooAmbalanthota Hambantota
Ritigala Yaan Oya Elephant Transit Home
Kept totally 0 elephants
, 0 present (0,0)0 births0 relocated0 deathsorphanageRitigala Strict Nature Reserve
Samaragiri Club Concept Elephant Bath
Kept totally 2 elephants
, 0 present (0,0)1 births2 relocated0 deathscampKegalle
Sinharaja Forest Reserve
Kept totally 2 elephants
, 2 present (2,0)0 births0 relocated0 deathswildSouthern Province
Siri Alanmathiniyaramaya Purana Viharaya
Kept totally 2 elephants
, 2 present (0,2)0 births0 relocated0 deathstempleColombo
Sri Dewram Wehera Depanama Pannipitiya
Kept totally 1 elephants
, 1 present (0,0)0 births0 relocated0 deathstemple Pannipitiya
Sri Lanka National Zoological Gardens (Dehiwela Zoo)
Kept totally 67 elephants
, 7 present (1,5)1 births52 relocated8 deathszooDehiwala, Colombo
Sri Lanka Ramanya Nikaya
Kept totally 0 elephants
, 0 present (0,0)0 births0 relocated0 deathstempleWeveldeniya
Sri Lanka unspecified location
Kept totally 11 elephants
, 0 present (0,0)8 births11 relocated0 deaths
Sumedha Basnayake
Kept totally 1 elephants
, 0 present (0,0)0 births1 relocated0 deathsprivateBalangoda
Tikiri Bandara Mampitiya
Kept totally 2 elephants
, 0 present (0,0)0 births2 relocated0 deathsprivateGiragama Walauwa, Yatinuwara
Uda Walawe Elephant Transit Home Udawalawa Eth Athuru Sewana
Kept totally 95 elephants
, 22 present (10,9)0 births68 relocated5 deathsorphanageUda Walawe National Park
Uda Walawe Nationalpark
Kept totally 71 elephants
, 66 present (20,32)6 births4 relocated1 deathswildUda Walawe National Park
Udugama Plywood Corporation
Kept totally 0 elephants
, 0 present (0,0)0 births0 relocated0 deathscampUdugamaCentral Province
Ulankulama interim elephant orphanage
Kept totally 0 elephants
, 0 present (0,0)0 births0 relocated0 deathsorphanageNorth Central Province
Vipashyarama Purana Vihara
Kept totally 2 elephants
, 2 present (0,0)0 births0 relocated0 deathstemple
Wewaladeniya Rajamaha Viharaya
Kept totally 1 elephants
, 0 present (0,0)0 births1 relocated0 deathstempleWewaladeniy, Kegalle
Wilpattu elephant orphanage
Kept totally 6 elephants
, 0 present (0,0)0 births6 relocated0 deathsorphanageWilpattu national park
Wilpattu Nationalpark
Kept totally 1 elephants
, 1 present (0,1)0 births0 relocated0 deathswild
Yala Ruhunu National Park
Kept totally 19 elephants
, 12 present (5,7)10 births2 relocated5 deathswildHambantota
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