Sri Lanka Tourism, in collaboration with the Department of National Zoological Gardens is geared up to sponsor a new project in providing Residential training on elephant care for the elephant mahouts in the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. This is scheduled to be held on the 06th of July at the Peradeniya University premises with the participation officials from National Zoological Gardens, University of Peradeniya and Sri Lanka Tourism. This programme promises a good initiative on encouraging the public to have a positive impact on the mahouts and help to recognize their social esteem. The Elephant Orphanage is the second largest tourist attraction next to the Sri Dalada Maligawa, Kandy. 45% of the tourists visited the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage.
This is the best known Elephant Orphanage only for elephants apart from the “AthAthuruSevana” in Udawalawa. The training programme will create awareness about how to treat these gentle giants with much care and compassion and encourage more people to be interested in this field. Already, there are a few female mahouts who have taken up this field as their profession. Therefore, it is important to improve the facilities, necessary awareness and training to take care of elephants, who are considered as majestic creatures who have been respected since the ancient times for their wisdom and intelligence. Prominent attractions such as Pinnawala are a great asset to Sri Lanka’s tourism and economic sector. During the past few years, a great deal of misinformation was circulated about this Orphanage regarding the fact it was a “Dungeon for elephants” and the cruelty of the caretakers to the elephants which became a subject of social discussion.
One basic intention of this training programme is to rectify the wrong impression which has been given about the mahouts at Pinnawala. Due to depriving of formal education and social recognition for this job leads them for frustration and drawback is the civil society.
Therefore, there should be a proper training given to all elephant caretakers according to an internationally recognized format. There are 25 senior caretakers selected both from the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage and Dehiwala Zoo and Safari Park where they will undergo a six-day residential training including fieldwork in Girithale. Distinguished officials of the Department of National Zoological Gardens, Department of wildlife, Vetenary surgeons and university lecturers will also take part in this programme to share their knowledge and expertise.
This is the 2nd training programme that is conducting for mahouts in Pinnawala with the collaboration of Peradeniya University. It is a very important step taken by the relevant authorities in society, since a negative impression is circulated about the harassment of elephants. They can only talk about the negative aspects of this matter without coming up with proper solutions. In this regard, training with the scientific knowledge will be important, and there will be some training related to social activities and etiquette. In this training, experts from different high profile positions will conduct lectures and different methods of teaching are expected. This training programme will also coincide with the 75th anniversary celebrations of the University of Peradeniya.
Inauguration Meeting on 2017/07/17
Participants / Elephant Caretakers
Participants / Group Caretakers