Pinnawala elephant orphanage is an orphanage, nursery and captive breeding ground for wild Asian elephants, located in Pinnawala village,13 km from kegalla town. Pinnawala has the largest flock of captive elephants in the world in 2011 where the 88 elephants, including 39 males and 49 females from 3 generations.
The Pinnawala elephant orphanage was established by Srilankan department of wildlife in 1975 for feeding and providing care to orphaned baby elephants that were found in the wild. The orphanage was located at Wilpattu national park, then shifted to Bentota and then to the Dehiwala zoo. Then it was shifted to Pinnawala village.
It was started with five elephants.
1978, the orphanage was taken over by the department of National zoological gardens Srilanka.
1982 elephant breeding program was launched. As 2012 there 78 elephants were there.
Tourist can observe daily routine of the elephants, such as elephant bathing, bottle feeding and playing from the broad of river bank, the orphanage is open daily, and all admission fees are used to look after the elephants.