In Sri Lanka, midway between the cities of Colombo and Kandy, there is a very peculiar orphanage: the Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage. Since 1975 this orphanage collects elephants found abandoned across the country.
Most of the time the baby elephants are found alone because their mother died or because they lost contact with the herd. In other cases are found, still alive, in the traps made by farmers to protect their crops. Over time the Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage begun to treat also the sick or injured adult elephants.
Mahouts – people who take care of the elephants – take the elephants, twice a day, to the nearby river Maha Oya for a bath. This is a real highlight for tourists that can witness the spectacle of elephants splashing in the water.
I took these pictures 4 years ago. In Kegalle I lived very close to the orphanage, in the guesthouse of a friend of mine: the Lakniwasa, a simple but nice place overlooking the rice paddies.