After about two and a half hours of fun time splashing about in the river the Pinnewala Elephant herd are rounded up by their keepers and encouraged to make their way back home for lunch. The main street that runs between the river and sanctuary is wide.
Elephants Return to the Pinnewala Orphanage in Sri Lanka
It is not paved and near the river is quite steep. The elephants, both young and old have no problem negotiating the obstacles. They are calm and proceed one after the other up hill. It is like a scene from the Walt Disney's film the Jungle Book where Colonel Hathi marches his elephant herd through the jungle. (Did you know that the word 'Hathi' meant elephant in Hindi)
You can follow the elephants and help with feeding them. Only give them the food provided by the keepers. Please do not feed the elephants anything else as it may make them sick. After their lunch the elephants are walked down to the river for more play time. After another couple of hours and a thorough soaking they march back up to the Orphanage for their evening meal before bed time.
Baby Asian Elephants bath time at Pinnewala in Sri Lanka
If you are travelling with children make sure they are off the river road when the elephants are on the march. I am amazed that the shops that line the road are not damaged by these passing giants. You can tell the age of elephants by how much pale skin and spot they have. The larger the light skin patches the older the animal.
Pinnewala Mother and baby Elephants Return to the Orphanage in Sri Lanka