The Millennium Elephant Foundation (MEF) is situated on a 15 acre estate known as ‘Samaragiri’, which has been home to the Samarasinghe family for many generations. The family has owned elephants since the 1960′s and in 1979 Mr Sam Samarasinghe (1939 – 1991) an animal lover opened the estate to the public as the Club Concept Elephant Bath.
The Millennium Elephant Foundation (NGO) charity was founded in Sam’s memory in August 1999 with assistance of the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) and has been working continually to improve the care, protection and treatment of elephants in Sri Lanka by providing a place of sanctuary and medical services and facilities. Charity Number 457. Millennium Elephant Foundation is the only certified Non-profit Organisation working with captive elephants in Sri Lanka.
In an effort to increase awareness about the plight of the Sri Lankan elephant and to generate the funds necessary for the elephant’s sustenance, care and to rescue more captive elephants from a life of hardship, the MEF welcomes visitors and volunteers to meet and experience our elephants. We practice responsible tourism and follow guidelines set out by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority.
Since the MEF’s inception, care and sanctuary has been provided to more than 60 elephants. Today, 4 female and 4 male elephants ranging in age from 25-60 years are either temporarily or permanently resident at the MEF.
Pooja was the first captive elephant to be born in Sri Lanka. She is just one of the success stories to come out of the work done at MEF in regards to veterinary training and conservation including pioneering research into tuberculosis in elephants. MEF is also home to Footsteps Elephant Consultancy (Private LTD)- the only Mahout training program accredited by the Sri Lankan Department of Wildlife.