Sixteen acres of land allocated for elephant park | Daily News


 

Sixteen acres of land allocated for elephant park

Minister Prasanna Ranatunga said that 16 acres of land has been allocated for an elephant park so that elephants could roam free without being chained, and that construction was in its final stages. He said enclosures for elephants would also be constructed and renovated.

“The Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage will never be closed and steps will be taken to develop it in a proper manner in the future while protecting the rights of the animals,” Tourism Minister Prasanna Ranatunga said in Parliament yesterday (25).

He said this in response to a question raised by MP Hesha Vithanage, on what steps the government has taken to improve the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage which is an asset to Sri Lanka.

The Minister pointed out that some administrative problems have arisen due to the previous government sending in elephants that were captured due to political revenge and placing them in the Pinnawala Orphanage.

Ranatunge said that safari systems should be introduced in the same manner as the Ridiyagama safari system in Hambantota, which was very successful.

Therefore, he said that 16 acres of land would be prepared so that elephants could roam free, adding that we need to think in a novel way of protecting animals.

He said that in recent times there had been a decline in tourist numbers to Pinnawala, adding that many steps have already been taken to improve better facilities for tourists.

According to Minister Ranatunge, tourist hotels, observation decks etc are already being constructed and measures have also been taken to construct better toilet facilities, foot paths and other facilities. It is also planned to purchase a land belonging to the Urban Development Authority opposite the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage and construct a new car park with all facilities including banking facilities, restaurants and plans are also afoot to construct a new water supply system for this purpose as the existing water supply system is not sufficient during the dry season, the Minister of Tourism added.