She is lost and alone. The shadows close in on her. She cries for help, hoping her mother will hear her and make everything all right. She waits. The sound of silence echoes through the breeze. She paces back and forth agitated, scared, terrified. She wails for her mother, to come rescue her. Exhausted now, she stands still. A feeble cry goes out into the night. Alone in the darkness, a heart breaks and hope fades.
Unfortunately this is the all too real situation of baby elephants that get separated from their mothers when they fall into pits set as traps in the jungle. The human elephant conflict in Sri Lanka is a very real problem as this majestic animal faces increasing habitat destruction as well. However, there are positive steps being taken to rehabilitate elephants that have been harmed, injured or separated from the herd. The Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage is one such place. An easy way to visit this now popular attraction would be to sign up with tour specialists such as Aitken Spence Travels which incorporates visits to Pinnawala as part of its cultural tours. Sri Lanka is blessed with rich wildlife including its iconic elephant which you can get up close to at this unique orphanage.
While you can see these gentle giants in their herds roaming within the orphanage itself, there are two special features that are well worth witnessing; bottle feeding and bath time! The bottle feeding session of baby elephants are generally at 9.15 am, 1.15 pm and 5 pm and if you are lucky enough some caregivers will let you hold the bottle while feeding is going on. Bath time is somewhat of a huge spectacle as elephants of all ages and sizes are led across the road to the nearby river where they can frolic in the waters and are given a good scrub down too.
In an ideal world these elephants should be able to roam wild and free, but that is far from the case as more and more of these animals come to harm. It is nice to know however, that at least here they are being given a home and a chance to join a new family.
Chandrishan Williams is a travel writer who writes under the pen name, Caleb Falcon. He specializes in writing content based on the many exciting world adventures that await intrepid travellers. Google+