The Millenium Elephant Foundation looks after elephants for their owners, and are an organisation that have been working continually since their inception to improve the care, protection and treatment of captive elephants in Sri Lanka. The island has a historical cultural connection with elephants which dates back many years, and the ownership of these magnificent creatures – and their use in religious ceremonies and processions – is common practice across Sri Lanka. There are many organisations in the country which ‘rescue’ elephants which are privately owned and give them a home when they are old, sick or badly injured, including the Millenium Elephant Foundation, who provide not only a place of sanctuary but also medical services and the necessary facilities to look after the elephants properly.
Eight elephants are currently in residence at the Millenium Elephant Foundation, which is located in Kegalle near Kandy. Join an elephant expert who volunteers here and learn all about the foundation and the elephants that they care for. You can walk with the elephants, bathe them and visit the on-site elephant dung factory. However, visitors should be aware that many of the elephants kept here are chained, on the request of their owners, and the organisation also offers elephant riding, to which we at Red Dot are strongly opposed. The elephants do no manual labour, however, and are only guided by a trained mahout, a caretaker who uses a hook to tap certain pressure points on the animal’s body – this does not hurt them when done correctly. Get up close and personal with some of Sri Lanka’s most majestic and iconic creatures and discover the complex issues which affect their conservation in Sri Lanka.