Pinnawala Elephant Freedom Project Sri Lanka | Vlog | #009

What’s up guys it’s JoVi Travel and we
just checked out our hotel and we are gonna take another bus to Pinnawala. It is time for another elephant experience. We will go to an elephant sanctuary and then we go for a
walk with elephant’s prepared their food and the best of all that we’re gonna wash
the elephant in the river. I’m really looking forward to that.
Yeah, me too! And so we’re now going to take the first bus to Kandy and then we
will switch buses and head to Pinnawala afterwards. So we just made it to Pinnawala and we’re now gonna check in and get ready and then we will head to
the elephants. So we just checked in and we probably have the best room we had so far it’s super-new. We got a huge bed.
But it is still cheap.
We even have our own balcony. Check this out! The look at the local bus stop. This room is spacious! And we have a huge and new bathroom. And our first room with air-conditione.
So we wanna get at our camera stuff ready and then we head to the
elephant house because we only have probably like half an hour left so see
you there. So we just arrived at the Elephant Freedom Project and it’s a little outside of Pinnawala town and Pinnawala is just all about elephants. They’re like probably a dozen of places where you can
interact with them or see the, but many of them they they offer elephant
riding. Yeah, and they are not treated well. So we did a lot of research to find this place. And that applies for every country not only Sri Lanka especially
So it might be nice to ride an elephant, but I think it’s nicer to be at a place
where they can live freely and you can interact with them like normally and
feed them and yeah we got to wash them in a lay with them in a water but yeah
we just want you to make sure to find a good place So we just got our safety instruction and got some food for the elephant who’s name is Nilame and
we’re now heading down to the river and he’s already lying there in the water
relaxing and now it’s bathing time. Hello!
Hello Sir! Elephant keeper, okay. Wow! He looks tired. So we’re just gonna make him wet now. You can remove this sands.
See now you are touching elephant guys. He is so relaxed!
Yes! This is his favorite part guys and then yes you can hold like this okay and you can use this edge part to scrub
the elephant. Okay? This edge part sir! and you are like this you scrub. Also hear at the head? Yes, go ahead!
I am not gonna hurt him?
No! It’s like a free massage guys! Here is our elephant spa. Its massage center guys. You call it spa. It is like a peeling. So we have just been washing the elephant for about an hour. That was so cool! I haven’t done that before and I haven’t been so close to an elephant before. You can see everything and he was super relaxed just lying there enjoying his massage. He really seamed to enjoy it. And we’re now going to a walk which is by far the most bizarre and funniest thing I’ve ever seen.
We are here walking on the street with the cars coming by with our elephant.
And while we are walking with the elephant we need to stay behind him because he’s
really proud and he wants to be the leader and the first in our group so we
can’t pass him and we always have to stay behind him and I think we’ll be
working now for roughly an hour and then we will return to the Elephant Freedom Project and prepared the dinner for the elephant. Hhich had already a lot of food today!
Did you know elephants eat like 200 kilograms of food each day? So it’s kind
of pricey to have an elephant. It’s not too heavy for elephant and its like
a you know like your fruit bag for elephant and then after we go there he will eat. See just talking! Do you know how to control our elephant keeper his elephant? How does she control? By words? You guys? And signs? Just talking, just talking. He has got 36 words to control his
elephant okay 36. I know few words guys! Da-ha means let’s
go. Da-ha means let’s go. Da-ha! No, don’t tell! He doesn’t like us to call them and call
him, you know. Da-ha – let’s go. Me-da-ha means come here, okay!?
Sometimes I go and ask what is this word meaning what is this word meaning like that, but he does not like to teach me. He doesn’t like it because because of his
job. You know his job is going to generation to generation that’s a he he
wants to keep his language as a secret guys. So we’re now gonna bring the coconut
leaves down to the elephant so you can have them for supper. He’s gonna have a
late dinner afterwards so a lot of food So in case you think the elephant is
still not treated appropriately here we just want to give you some background
information about elephants in general in Sri Lanka. There is a very long
tradition of domesticated elephants and earlier they’ve been used as working
animals mainly in a construction field then they got replaced by machinery and
nowadays there’s still 250 elephants in private households out of 4,000
elephants which live in Sri Lanka in total. And they’re mainly a wealth status
symbol and sometimes also used in connection with religion they used for
religious ceremonies carrying around the Buddha relics. And the thing is if they
grow up in a private household they can’t be released into the wild anymore
because they wouldn’t know how to behave how to get food, how to survive
So since the elephants lost their purpose as working animals and having an elephant
is connected with very big expenses. The owners rent them to usually to riding places where they get rent for them which is around 160 thousand rupees per
month. Riding places are usually very profitable but bad for the elephant
because they get mistreated and hit with a bull hook and they hit him as long as
they’re chained and carry around as many tourists as they want.
The Elephant Freedom Project here rents Nilame our little friend here from the owner.
The Elephant Freedom Project here mainly safe Nilame from the previous riding place
where he was really mistreated. They hit him with a hook very very badly his foot
is still not right and it’s never gonna be good again.
So in case you’ve been wondering who the guy is who always sticks with the
elephant. Thats the mahout, that’s the keeper. He always stays with the elephant
for the whole life it’s a very dedicated job and he can’t stay with his family he
always has to stay with the elephant and the mahout is obliged by the Sri Lankan
law to always carry around the bull hook just for emergency cases, but usually at
least here they don’t use the hook. Unfortunately, the Elephant Freedom
Project has to chain Nilame at night because they’re mainly two reasons like
he can break out at night and destroy the surrounding fields and he could also
hurt himself which would the owner make lose money and that’s the reason why I
have to chain him at night. So the owner wouldn’t rent him to the Elephant Freedom Project if they didn’t chain him at night. This freedom project is still the overall best place for an elephant in a private household. So we
think elephants living in private household should be forbidden in general,
but unfortunately we don’t think there’s gonna be any change soon if the law
stays the same and therefore the project here is definitely the best option for
elephants. So guys, we are just on the way back to our hotel and it was just a cool experience today. Getting that close to an elephant and washing him, feeding him. Yeah, and tomorrow we are heading to Negombo to spend the last days at the beach. And if you liked this video give it a thumbs up, hit the subscribe button, follow us on Instagram and every other social media. So see you in the next video!

40 thoughts on “Pinnawala Elephant Freedom Project Sri Lanka | Vlog | #009

  • ahhh we love elephants and been to a sanctuary in Thailand. Would love to come to Sri Lanka for it too!

  • If you ever get to Thailand, there's an amazing elephant sanctuary in Chiang Mai. I can't recommend going there enough, that do such a fantastic job in trying to save elephants. What an amazing experience you had though, scrubbing and washing the elephant! I must go here when I eventually get round to Sri Lanka.

  • Nice work guys. Looks like a great experience. Glad you opted to go with an orphanage that doesn't allow riding the elephants. I'm always cautious of these types of rescue centers, especially in asia. Looked like one very pampered elephant

  • Nice editing and nice presence in video. I would have kept it a bit shorter, but thatโ€™s a style choice. Love Sri Lanka by the way, one of my best trip and memories

  • Wow that would be such a cool experience! How do you research and find the ethical elephant places?

  • I learned a lot about elephants today! Im glad to see that they treat the elephants very good! Was afraid to see another elephant ride. Thanks for sharing!

  • What magestic and amazing creatures. So happy places like this exist to help the elephants. Love how the elephant just took the tree with him.

  • Really enjoyed these Sri Lanka videos! I'm visiting Sri Lanka myself next month, so it was great to follow your travels. Very excited to see the elephants! Just subscribed – looking forward to following your next adventures ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Unfortunately pinnawala are known to torture elephants and force them to lay down, and if got up the care taker would poke them. The screams can be heard from miles. The elephants are also chained along with the babies. I highly recommended you read about it here I recommend taking this video down cause it promotes a fake sanctuary.

  • Please before everyone praises pinnawala read about what that really are here

  • they say an elephant is happy when it's flapping it's ears and wagging it's tail, notice how the ears and tail stop when he has the stick on him

  • Do not go to Pinnawala. They are not a sustainable elephant orphanage and actually are causing more harm than good. Read this article and educate yourself before visiting these places!!!

  • Why do you support a place where they are riding elephants and putting chains around elephants? This is a truly terrible place in Sri Lanka and it is important for people to know that you SHOULD NOT SUPPORT THIS PLACE in ANY WAY! Please read Trip Advisor reviews and ask around before going to elephant sanctuaries as many of them (like this one) are not ethical just keep the elephants caged to attract ignorant tourists. Please remove this video if you actually care about the elephants.

  • This is not ethnical treatment either. It's a tourist trap meant to take your cash while leaving you with the impression of "helping elephants"

  • You have no clue what you are talking about. Were you really this blind not to see how archaic this elephants are treated? This is no elephant sanctuary by any means and its name is a discredit to real orphanages. What a shame!!!

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