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Born Free Sri Lanka elephant project - Udawalawe Elephant Transit Home,Sri Lanka
Elephants & people
In 1900 there were 12,000 elephants in Sri Lanka, now there are less than 4,000. With the human population swollen to 20 million there is increasing competition for resources. agricultural areas are often set up within the elephants' traditional range, and the wandering grazers naturally turn to this source of food. Although a Buddhist, animal-loving country, the farmers respond to this threat to their crops - often by chasing off the perceived 'invaders' and sometimes by more aggressive means including firearms. This can lead to baby elephants, not yet weaned, being separated from their mother and their herd.
Every year around 30 orphans - baby elephants separated from their herd - are reported to the authorities. Many of these are found in the Northern and Eastern regions and face a long, gruelling drive to get to the Elephant Transit Home (ETH) at Udawalawe National Park. Once there, however, they get medical attention, food, shelter, and the companionship of other elephants at the park. And eventually, once they have grown up enough, they are returned to the wild in Udawalawe National Park. There are currently 32 elephants, between 3 weeks and 4 years old, at the facility.
70% of Sri Lanka's elephants live outside protected areas
Elephant / human conflict leads to around 110 elephant deaths a year and 60 human deaths
About 10% of orphans can be returned to their herd immediately
The biggest health concern at the ETH is diarrhoea when babies do not take to formula milk
The ETH spends nearly £50,000 per year on baby milk powder
The elephants are usually released when they are 3½-4 years old
Orphans are re-introduced in small groups in the hope that they will integrate with wild herds
Elephants and Born Free
Baby elephant Pinkie was only a few weeks old when she fell into a quarry and became badly injured. Luckily she was rescued and nursed back to health by the Elephant Transit Home in Sri Lanka.
Pinkie is too young to survive without her mother and is bottle-fed 40 pints of milk each day!
One day, when ready, she will be returned to the wild.
Make an online donation to the Orphanage at www.bornfreetrading.com
Join Born Free as an Elefriends Member Plus
Thank you elephant.co.uk , Kuoni Travel Ltd, JCB UK, Whittall Boustead (Travel) Ltd (Sri Lanka) and Nutricia Ltd for helping with this project. Thanks also to "TLC Consultants" John Toovey and John Knight (who helped with the design of the ICU).
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