Elephants at private locations in Sri Lanka


23 private locations has kept elephants in Sri Lanka
There is presently 13 (5,5) living elephants in private 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:

23 private locations has kept 26 elephants in Sri Lanka

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

Elephants in private locations13 (5,5) living13 (7,3) dead
Sex ratio and
Management:
 Male  5 / 13 
 38%
 Female  5 / 13 
 38%
 Free contact  12 / 13 
 92%
 Protected contact  0 / 13  0%
 No contact  0 / 13  0%
 Unknown contact  1 / 13 
 8%
 wild  0 / 13  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
    P.R. Karunarathna
    Kept totally 1 elephants
    , 0 present (0,0)0 births0 relocated1 deathsprivateHemmathagama
    Anamaduwe Dhammadassi Thera
    Kept totally 1 elephants
    , 1 present (1,0)0 births0 relocated0 deathsprivate
    B. B. Yayasekhara
    Kept totally 1 elephants
    , 0 present (0,0)0 births0 relocated1 deathsprivateDompe
    Colombo unspecified location
    Kept totally 2 elephants
    , 0 present (0,0)0 births0 relocated2 deathsprivateColombo
    (map)
    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
    Devinda Senanayake
    Kept totally 1 elephants
    , 0 present (0,0)0 births0 relocated1 deathsprivateKerala
    Dutugemunu of Anuradhapura
    Kept totally 2 elephants
    , 0 present (0,0)0 births0 relocated2 deathsprivateAnuradhapura
    H. L. Yajarathna
    Kept totally 1 elephants
    , 0 present (0,0)0 births1 relocated0 deathsprivateRatnapura
    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
    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
    Kandalama Walauwa
    Kept totally 2 elephants
    , 0 present (0,0)0 births2 relocated0 deathsprivateKandalamaMirigama, Western Sri Lanka
    Lucky Bandaranayake
    Kept totally 1 elephants
    , 0 present (0,0)0 births0 relocated1 deathsprivatePamunuwa, Mawanella
    Millennium Elephant Foundation
    Kept totally 11 elephants
    , 9 present (4,5)0 births1 relocated1 deathsprivateKegalle
    (map)
    Kegalle DistrictSabaragamuwa Province
    Morahena Watte
    Kept totally 1 elephants
    , 0 present (0,0)0 births1 relocated0 deathsprivateAthurugiriya
    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
    Pradeep Nilanga Dela Bandara
    Kept totally 2 elephants
    , 2 present (0,0)0 births0 relocated0 deathsprivateKandy
    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



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


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