About Udawalawe Elephant Transit Home
The primary objective of the facility is to rehabilitate orphaned elephant calves to ready them for life in the wild. The elephants are made familiar with the surrounding habitat of the facility to familiarize them with their natural habit but are given access to food and medical care. Although human visitors are welcome at the facility especially to view their feeding, stringent efforts are made to minimize human contact to prevent the orphaned elephant calves from being acclimated to humans. The elephants are being taken care of until they are around 5 years old, before being released to the wild habitats of the Udawalawe National Park.
In order to make the facilities efforts sustainable, the Department of Wildlife Conservation introduced a foster-parent program to help raise funds for their efforts. Foster parents are given privileges which includes,
• Naming the elephant.
• Taking photographs of the elephant.
• A free circuit bungalow in Udawalawe National Park for two days per year.
• Publicity for the foster-parent
• The foster-parent and elephant’s name displayed at the Elephant Transfer House and the head office of the department.
• Involvement in the release when the elephant is returned to the wild.
To see the feeding of these elephants, you must be present at the facility at one of the feeding times of 06:00 AM, 09:00 AM, 12:00 PM, 03:00 PM or 06:00 PM.
The Udawalawe Elephant Transit Home is located inside the Udawalawe National Park, close to the border of the Sabaragamuwa & Uva Provinces of Sri Lankan in the small town of Udawalawe. It is located 75 KM away from Tissamaharama city (1 hr 25 min drive), 85 KM away from Yala (1 hr 45 min drive), 100 KM away from Ella city (2 hr drive), 100 KM away from Mirissa city (1 hr 45 min drive), 140 KM away from Galle and Udawalawe cities (3 hr 30 min drive), 180 KM away from Bentota city (2 hr 45 min drive), and 230 KM away from Colombo city (3 hr 30 min drive).
Reaching the Udawalawe Elephant Transit Home
The cities in close proximity to the facility, namely the cities of Udawalawe and Embilipitiya city are easily accessible via public transport.
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