Elephants at orphanage locations in Sri Lanka

6 orphanage locations has kept elephants in Sri Lanka
There is presently 91 (31,46) living elephants in orphanage 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:

6 orphanage locations has kept 119 elephants in Sri Lanka

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

Elephants in orphanage locations91 (31,46) living28 (12,9) dead
Sex ratio and
 Male  31 / 91 
 Female  46 / 91 
 Free contact  88 / 91 
 Protected contact  0 / 91  0%
 No contact  0 / 91  0%
 Unknown contact  1 / 91 
 wild  0 / 91  0%

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.

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)

Human-elephant conflict

2019: In 2019 alone, 407 elephants and 122 humans were killed due to the country’s worsening HEC. 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.

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).

Recommended Citation

Koehl, Dan, Facts about elephants in Sri Lanka. Elephant Encyclopedia, (2021) available online retrieved at https://www.elephant.se/country.php?name=Sri Lanka.
(archived at the Wayback machine)

Sources, among others

Internal relevant links

  • The elephant database startpage. Statistics
  • News about elephants in Sri Lanka (From the sister site Elephant News)

  • NameElephant collectionTypePlaceDistrictProvinceStateRegion
    Bentota Tourist Complex elephant orphanage
    Kept totally 7 elephants
    , 0 present (0,0)0 births7 relocated0 deathsorphanageBentotaSouthern province
    Pinnawala elephant orphanage
    Kept totally 146 elephants
    , 69 present (21,37)66 births54 relocated23 deathsorphanageKegalle
    Kegalle DistrictSabaragamuwa Province
    Ritigala Yaan Oya Elephant Transit Home
    Kept totally 0 elephants
    , 0 present (0,0)0 births0 relocated0 deathsorphanageRitigala Strict Nature Reserve
    Uda Walawe Elephant Transit Home Udawalawa Eth Athuru Sewana
    Kept totally 95 elephants
    , 22 present (10,9)0 births68 relocated5 deathsorphanageUda Walawe National Park
    Ulankulama interim elephant orphanage
    Kept totally 0 elephants
    , 0 present (0,0)0 births0 relocated0 deathsorphanageNorth Central Province
    Wilpattu elephant orphanage
    Kept totally 6 elephants
    , 0 present (0,0)0 births6 relocated0 deathsorphanageWilpattu national park

    This document was updated: 2020-10-03 08:17:45

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