The “Elephant Transit Home” is a welfare and conservation organisation in Udawalawe National Park, Sri Lanka. The primary objective of the Elephant Transit Home (ETH) is the rehabilitation of orphaned baby elephants until they could look after themselves when released back into the wild.
Udawalawe National Park
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Sri Lankan Elephant, a subspecies of the Asian elephant is endemic to the island of Sri Lanka. The survival of elephants within their natural habitat is threatened as a result of rapid expansion of the human population, fragmentation of target areas due to settlements and development of agricultural activities. Hence human-elephant conflict is increasing in many districts of Sri Lanka and as a result, the elephants are killed, leaving many baby elephants orphaned or abandoned.
With minimum resources and manpower, ETH has successfully grown to be a successful entity in a short period and has been recognised as one of best wild animal rehabilitation centres in the world. The concept of ETH is to look after the orphaned elephant calves, and prior to their release back to the wild, the biologist have to be satisfied with their ability to live independently; therefore, while they are at ETH, there are great efforts made to minimise human contact with them from a young age and to encourage them to develop bonds with other fellow elephants in ETH. This is helpful for elephants when they are released back to the wild in groups as they will have more chances of survival in the wild.
Since its establishment in 1995, ETH has taken care of more than 250 elephants, and all these orphaned wild elephants have been reintroduced to their natural habitats in the wild at the age of five, when they are able to take care of themselves. Visit the Elephant Transit Home in Sri Lanka and get a chance to support the organisation while enjoying Udawalawe National Park, an important habitat for water birds, leopards and of course Sri Lankan elephants. It is a popular destination and the third most visited park in the country.