The life story of a captive elephant


As a sustainable travel and leisure solutions provider, Saraii Village is leading an initiative to organize a series of awareness programs on “Eradicating Cruelty to Animals.”

The first program was held several days ago at the Good Market, Col – 07 and was on the “Life Story of Captive Elephants.” This program offered a different perspective on the subject; one, which many of us have been unaware of and was eye opening for all.

eTN Correspondent Srilal Mithapala speaking at the event

Dumindra Ratnayake is a former senior corporate executive, who is now a passionate activist fighting against negative social issues. As a key area of focus, he’s creating awareness on the abuse of “Sri Lankan elephants” that are held and bred in captivity. His well-researched facts and insights are compelling and showcase the gruesome side of how the revered elephants are treated in Sri Lanka.

His appeal was an emotional one, where he presented the true horror story of how a baby elephant is forcibly taken away from its mother, to be destined to endure a life of torture and isolation.

Srilal Mithapala, a hotelier, environmentalist, and an avid elephant conservationist, has years of experience in the wilds which has made him appreciate Sri Lanka’s rich bio-diversity, and enriched his love for wild elephants in particular. He has conducted a research project under the sponsorship of the US Fish & Wildlife Service on the elephants of the Uda Walawe National Wild Life Park. He participates at various wildlife and sustainability forums. He is also a regular speaker on the subjects of wildlife, elephants, sustainability, and tourism to a wide cross-section of environmental groups, NGOs, schools, local and international universities, and the tourism sector.

Srilal’s approach was more pragmatic, and he showcased what is currently being done to address this issue and also possible solutions to minimize the effects of raising captive elephants. He spoke of what all of us can do as responsible citizens to support this cause, which was enlightening.

Attendees at the event commended Saraii Village for initiating such a program and states that more enterprises should focus on such issues that are of concern in today’s society.

Thoughts from the Founder/CEO of Saraii Village Charitha Abeyratne Hettiarachchi:

“As a sustainable travel brand, Saraii Village is keen to create awareness about different environmental and social issues that impact all of us today. With this initial event, we are focusing on creating awareness about the ‘Life Story of a Captive Elephant,’ which is a key topic of focus today.

“I believe that tourism is one of the reasons why there is a demand for captive elephants. But if consumers are aware about the unethical practices followed in order to train and keep elephants captive, I am confident the need for this practice will drastically reduce. This is our main objective.”