Some of you may have visited the Elephant Transit Home (ETH), Eth Athuru Sevana, at the Udawalawe National Park. If you have been there, you would know just what a joyful experience it is to observe at close range all the elephants, especially the little ones, who reside there.
This experience would now be available from a new location as well. You may have heard that a lot of orphaned and destitute baby elephants have been found in the wilds of the North and North Central Provinces. A new Elephant Transit Home (ETH) would be built at Ritigala Yaan Oya to house the elephants found from these two provinces.
According to Wildlife Conservation Department sources, construction work of this Eth Athuru Sevana is expected to be completed by the middle of this year. It would provide a bigger home for elephants than the transit home at Udawalawe which can accommodate only 20 to 25 elephants.
However, it is currently providing accommodation to 39 elephants due to the return of some of its former inmates to the transit home after being released into the wilds.
Some of these baby jumbos have been transferred to Pinnawala due to the lack of facilities at the Udawalawe ETH. Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage authorities are said to have requested the Wildlife Department to provide it with more elephants from the Wildlife Department’s transit homes.
The elephant population in the Udawalawe Park had increased from 76 elephants in 1991 to 700 by the end of 2008.
The Eth Athuru Sevana ETH is not your typical elephant orphanage. For instance, it couldn’t be more different from the better known Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. “At Pinnawala the elephants have limited freedom. That is the concept of the ETH. At the ETH we raise elephants in semi wild conditions and release them when the time comes. Some elephants released are fixed with radio collars which would transmit a pulse to help locate their wearers’ position. It is also equipped with a mortality sensor and this apparatus is used to check on the progress of the elephants that now have to fend for themselves in the unforgiving wilderness. Many more baby elephants willing to release in the near future.
"Dear Cyril, Sincerest apologies for this delayed email --- reason being that I had been extremely busy with work & travel, since returning from Sri Lanka and just got a breather now, to download our photos and catch up with private matters. Hope this email finds you & family, in the best of health & spirits. Your granddaughter must be keeping you busy and giving you & Mrs. Baddegama immense joy. At this end, we are doing fine. Nikhita is back at school, now in Grade 7 and havi..." Pradeep Kumar Menon - Singapore
"We had an excellent and memorable trip and all credits to Cyril. In-depth knowledge about the places, roads and history and culture. From the airport assistance - Food, accommodation provided and the vehicle was excellent. Very matured and patient, We being on safe hands. Thanks for making it a memorable experience for all of us. " Aubry De Souza and group from Dubai
" Hi Cyril We have had a fabulous holiday driven and guided by Cyril from CYRIL TOURS. Hotel recommendations were perfect and knowledge supertb. We would happy to introduce CYRIL TOURS to our frieinds and relatives. Thank you for the photos you are taken and send to us, they are a great reminder of our amazing experience in Sri Lanka. We had a truly memorable time and we are grateful to you for all your knowledge and guidance throughout our trip, it would not have been..." Mr. Richard & Mrs. Bridget Simson and family from
"Dear Cyril, Here are some photos for you as we promised, and also little gift to you. Here is some photos of elephant boy which we were took on elephant ride. Please give to them when you go to Habarana again. We are very grateful to you for your services that you have done to make our holiday in this beautiful country. Still we are thinking over our nice trip with you. It was fantastic, really! Here in Holland, life is normal again. Greeting for your wife and daughter too. George and Cala ..." George and Cala
"Hi Mr.Cyril, Hope you and family and grandchild are doing fine. Hope to come to Sri Lanka again. We really enjoyed our trip especially with your special help and guidance. We will definitely contact you if at all we wish to visit Sri Lanka again. Thanks & Best Regards Mr. & Mrs.Pillai Singapore 29/7/11 " Mr & Mrs.Pillai from Singapore
"If you ever plan to visit Sri Lanka (and I think you should) this is your guide!!! Martha Iordanidou - Thesoloneki - Greece " Martha Iordanidou
"We had a fantastic holiday in Sri Lanka, thanks Cyril Tours, Our driver, Amiila, was brilliant and nothing was too much trouble for him. The places we visited were really interesting and we saw some lovely scenery.I would definitely recommend your company to other people. Emma - UK 2010 December " Emma Patterson
"Dear Cyril, We would like to thank youthat you have arrange ourholiday which we have enjoyed so much, that we can call them the best holiday we have ever had. You are avery helpful guide- because you know about your beautiful country very much. We also appriciate your advices that you gave us during our two weeks long journey and your perfect trip arrangement we have enjoyed every single day. All the best to you and your family. Hope to see you again. Martha & Jarda 08 No..." Martha & Jaroslav Jirout
"Cyril was an excellent guide and gave us a very good insight into the history and cultures of Sri Lanka. He was always polite, helpful and prompt. His driving was always calm and controlled - unlike some of the other vehicles we saw!!! We would recommend him to others traveling to Sri Lanka. WH - UK - January 2011" Wilson Harland
"We had a exellent and memorable trip. That all credit to you Cyril.Indepth knowledge about the place, roads, Culture and history. Very matuared and patient. We were in very safe hands on all the time. Thanks a lot, mainly it's memorable expeirience for all of us. We always recomond CYRIL TOURS to our friends and relatives in Dubai and in India." Awdhesh Kumar and gruop