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Adopt an elephant

Sri Lankan Elephant (Elephas maximus maximus), a sub species of Asian elephant, is endemic to the island. The wild Asian elephant is one of the endangered “giant herbivore” populations of Earth.

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 constantly killed, leaving many baby elephants orphaned or abandoned.

The Elephant Transit Home (ETH) was established by Department of Wildlife Conservation (DWC) in 1995. The main objective of ETH is to provide shelter and security for baby elephants. Annually an average of 12-15 baby elephants are being rescued from wild habitats and become residents of ETH. They are rehabilitated to be released to the jungle, when they are strong enough to survive in their natural habitat. Up to date 103 baby elephants have been released to the jungle, since its establishment.

DWC has decided to seek assistance from public & private sectors to improve the facilities and services provide at ETH. Launching the Foster-Parent Scheme for baby elephants is one such effort.

The annual cost of caring for a baby elephant is approximately LKR 480,000/- excluding overhead costs and veterinary care. Hence, a minimum monthly contribution of LKR 25, 000/= is expected from an individual or a group willing to support an elephant through this scheme. This donation is to cover mainly the cost of milk and medicine of each baby elephant.

In return, the Department of Wildlife Conservation wishes to provide certain privileges to the Foster parents, in addition to the satisfaction of contributing to a worthwhile deed of preserving the wild elephant population in Sri Lanka.

Friends of the Elephant Transit Home

Corporate and Foundation support

The Elephant Transit Home is grateful for the generosity of our corporate supporters, private foundations, and public funders. These supporters’ foster orphans, provide essential gifts to help meet operating needs, and/or fund special initiatives.

– Born Free Foundation
– Friends of the Elephants – Vrienden van de Olifant
– Ringling Centre for Elephant Conservation, USA
– Cologne Zoo- Germany
– Vienna Zoo/ Tiergarten Schönbrunn
– Heidelberg Zoo – Germany
– Dilmah Conservation
– Elemotion Foundation
– Vienna Zoo/ Tiergarten Schönbrunn
– Rockland Distilleries
– Hemas Holdings PLC (Hemas Green Club)


Foster parents

A successful foster parent programme is vital to fund the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of the Elephant Transit Home’s orphans. We are grateful to the organizations, groups, and individuals who foster our baby elephants. For privacy reasons, names of private foster parents are not mentioned.

– Vrienden van de Olifant/ Friends of the Elephants
– Anglo Asian Racket Club
– Born Free Foundation
– Dilmah Conservation
– Elemotion Foundation
– Lalan Group
– Odel
– Prowildlife
– Spa Ceylon Luxury Ayurveda
– Zoological Park of New South Wales

Sponsorship (Foster Parents) of Orphaned Baby Calves

To take the burden off the government on the funding of Elephant Transit Home (ETH), and to give animal lovers a chance to sponsor and be involved in the growing stages of calf elephants for a few years – there is a “Foster Parent Scheme” in place. The cost is approximately LKR 25,000 per month, which an individual, a company, an association, a school or even a group of friends can undertake. Several benefits are offered to Foster Parents. One is that you able to give the little calf a name of your choice.

Many companies have joined this programme. For e.g.: Hemas Green Club which is a part of the Hemas Holdings CSR programme) has adopted a baby elephant named ‘Abhiman’. He was brought to ETH from Ampara in 2015. Initially, the wildlife department named it ‘Koli’ to depict the area it was captured, however, after Hemas agreed to sponsor the elephant, they named it Abhiman to depict the Hemas Sustainability programme Abhimana. This initiative is by the staff of Hemas through their Green Club. The necessary funds are raised by staff. With the intention of supporting support ETH on its on-going programmes and attracting more donors Hemas also supported in empowering this website.

ETH also has an animal hospital in the premises. Yet there is a dire need for medical equipment to treat elephant calves. ETH welcomes donations from generous sponsors to meet this requirement. We have included an ‘Elephant Transit Home – Wish List’ below for Sponsors, individuals or a group of members, who wish to support ETH with the purchase of any of the following items mentioned:

Our Wishlist

– Hand held X-ray machine (Approx cost of a machine – LKR 1 – 1.5 million)
– Two Led TV screens. This would be set-up at the public viewing area of ETH Udawalawe to promote and showcase the Stories of Wild Elephants in Sri Lanka.
– A GPS or Radio collar for elephants (Cost of GPS is approx. LKR 400,000 and a Cost of a Radio Collar LKR 125,000 /per collar)
– Scanner (Appox. LKR 1 million) Donations for Handicap Elephants (Please feel free to get in touch with the ETH Office to sponsor prosthetic limbs for Elephants with disability)

Foster Parents Scheme for Elephants

You too can be the guardian angel of baby elephants who have lost the love and affection of their parents. You will have the opportunity to choose a name for the baby elephant that you are ‘adopting’. You will also get many benefits and privileges from the Department of Wildlife Conservation. For further details contact Ath Athuru Sevana (Elephant Transit Home), Udawalawe on +94 047-2232147.