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Millennium Elephant Foundation

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Attractions Details

📌 Address

kegalle, Rambukkana 71000, Sri Lanka

Opening Hours

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

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expert
Krishan
Local tour guide
"Visit the Millennium Elephant Foundation early in the morning to enjoy a more personalized encounter with the elephants, as it’s less crowded and the weather is cooler for both you and the gentle giants. Also, bring a pair of old sneakers or sandals, as you'll have the chance to walk alongside an elephant, and the terrain can be quite muddy."

What is Millennium Elephant Foundation?

The Millennium Elephant Foundation (MEF) is a sanctuary and relief organization for captive Asian elephants in Sri Lanka. It is located in the town of Kegalle, which is about a one-and-a-half-hour drive from Kandy. This family-run non-profit organization is dedicated to improving the welfare of domesticated elephants throughout the island, offering them a safe haven while also promoting awareness and education on elephant conservation.

Here, visitors get a unique opportunity to interact with these majestic creatures in a more ethical and intimate setting than one might find in more tourist-heavy spots. Whether it's walking with elephants, participating in their care, or learning about the challenges they face in captivity and the wild, MEF provides a deeply personal encounter with these gentle giants.

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History of Millennium Elephant Foundation

The foundation was established in 1999 by the Samaranayake family, who were instrumental in setting up the Club Concept—a group responsible for the well-being of captive elephants employed in the tourism industry. The inspiration behind the establishment of MEF was to provide a sanctuary for elephants who have spent their lives working, often in locations such as temples, logging camps, or in the tourism trade, where they may not have received the optimal care or living conditions.

The MEF has evolved over the years and now also focuses on educating tourists and locals alike about the importance of conservation and the ethical treatment of elephants. It has gained international recognition and support from animal welfare enthusiasts and conservationists. The foundation continues to be a pivotal institution in shifting the paradigm concerning elephant-human interactions, particularly in the context of tourism in Sri Lanka.

Why is Millennium Elephant Foundation Important?

MEF plays a crucial role in the realm of animal welfare and conservation in Sri Lanka. It stands out for its emphasis on ethical treatment and the well-being of captive elephants. The foundation not only provides a retreat for these animals but also offers a platform for education and research. It has been a pioneer in advocacy for elephant rights and has been part of ongoing dialogue and action towards sustainable and humane treatment of elephants in the country.

Furthermore, the Millennium Elephant Foundation contributes to the local community by providing employment and promoting responsible tourism practices. These concerted efforts help to ensure that the elephants receive the care and respect they deserve, while also contributing to the broader global conversation on wildlife conservation and ethical tourism.

Things to Do & See at Millennium Elephant Foundation

At the Millennium Elephant Foundation, you'll find a range of activities that immerse you in the world of these noble creatures. Visitors can participate in what's called the 'Walking with Elephants' experience where you can walk alongside these majestic animals as they roam through the grounds, which allows for a respectful and non-intrusive interaction.

Additionally, there's an educational element where you can learn about the history, behavior, and challenges facing elephants in Sri Lanka today. You can contribute directly to the welfare of the elephants by taking part in their daily care routines such as feeding or even joining in at bath time in the nearby river.

What's often not discussed widely is the onsite museum, which houses an array of elephant memorabilia, providing a historical perspective on the human-elephant relationship in Sri Lanka. And if you're someone who's interested in the behind-the-scenes work, the foundation also offers volunteer opportunities which include more in-depth involvement in the care of the elephants and the chance to learn from the dedicated staff about conservation efforts.

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Frequently asked questions

What is the Millennium Elephant Foundation?

The Millennium Elephant Foundation is a charity organization in Kandy that advocates for the welfare of elephants in Sri Lanka. It provides a sanctuary for elephants, promoting responsible tourism and education on elephant conservation.

Can visitors interact with elephants at the Millennium Elephant Foundation?

Yes, visitors can interact with elephants under the supervision of trained staff. The Foundation offers the opportunity to learn about elephants, walk with them, and participate in their daily care routines.

What are the opening hours of the Millennium Elephant Foundation?

The Millennium Elephant Foundation is usually open to visitors every day. However, it's best to check their official website or contact them directly for the most current information on opening hours.

Is there an entrance fee for the Millennium Elephant Foundation, and what does it include?

Yes, there is an entrance fee for the Millennium Elephant Foundation. The fee typically includes a guided tour and the chance to see and learn about the elephants. Some activities may require an additional fee.

How can I contribute to the Millennium Elephant Foundation?

Contributions to the Millennium Elephant Foundation can be made in the form of donations, participating in their volunteer programs, or by adopting an elephant to support its ongoing care and upkeep.

Attractions Details

📌 Address

kegalle, Rambukkana 71000, Sri Lanka

Opening Hours

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

Find it on google maps