Pinnawela and the Turtle Hatchery at Kannangara have been Sri Lanka best conservation efforts. Sadly the turtle hatchery was wiped out by the tsunami and with it 20,000 eggs.
Pinnawela started in 97, now boasts of aver 50 pachyderms. The elephants are kept in the open and allowed to run around and rampage through the large area of the orphanage. The baby elephants have somehow imbibed the spirit of the naughty five year old next door. There morning routine includes chasing foreign tourists and if they successfully catch up they then proceed to strip search you for food. They would put any over zealous airport gaurd to shame. At this point the mahout comes out, the little guys make their pavlovian connections and follow. Let the feeding begin. The naughty babies are then bottle-fed copious amounts of milk. The do this quickly gobbling up about 2 ½ dozen bananas each. What a life !!!
Ladies and Gentlemen the show hasn't even began yet. Take your seats on the tourist trap restaurant on the top of the hill and quickly stuff in your breakfast as you and your fellow culture vultures enjoy the voyeuristic scene of 50 or so elephants having a bath in the river close by.