Released Orphans


(male, full name Vibhishana, released March 2018)Elemotion's orphan Vibhi fills his cheeks as he drinks milk

Vibhi is Elemotion Foundation’s first orphan. He was rescued in 2011 at the age of 3-months old from an abandoned well near Anuradhapura. Vibhi is sweet but also bold. He has a narrow frame and long legs. In the free range area, he often dozes or play-fights. When he drinks, Vibhi loves to fill his cheeks with milk. His best friends are two girls named Ruby and Deegawapi. The three were often seen suckling on the earlobes of one of our older released orphans, Samari. Ear suckling is a comfort seeking behavior of the Transit Home orphans. Vibhi was released on March 30th in Maduru Oya National park with 8 other orphans, including our girl Grusha.



(female, released March 2018)Grusha

Grusha was rescued at the age of 5-months old by wildlife officials in 2010 from Maduruoya National Park. Known for her quiet disposition, Grusha is truly a gentle giant. At around 6ft tall, she is one of the tallest and most statuesque orphans. As an older female, she is also a wonderful allomother to the younger orphans, especially the extremely shy Madhumathie who likes to hide herself in Grusha’s shadow. Grusha is laid back and kind. She’s happy to wait her turn at the milk station as well as graze and mingle with most members of the herd. Grusha was released on March 30th in Maduru Oya National park with 8 other orphans, including our boy Vibhi.



Pokuna Raja

(male, tusker, released June 2017)

Pokuna profile facePokuna Raja was our handsome tusker, and we were honored to foster the only tusker at the Transit Home. Pokuna Raja was found in the fall of 2013 in very poor condition, collapsed in a water tank (a man made water reserve for irrigation and village use). After 3 days of on-site treatment and one month in suspension to keep him on his feet, our brave boy fought his way back to become the second strongest bull in the herd. Pokuna means ‘lake’, and Raja means ‘king’ and is reserved for tuskers only. Pokuna has a charming face, darker skin, short but powerful stature, and a spirited character. He’s playful and would sometimes spar with our other older male orphan, Vibhi. Male tuskers are rare in Sri Lanka, with some estimates stating only around 4% of wild male elephants have tusks. We were very happy to support with Pokuna’s rehabilitation and to release a tusker back to the wild!




(female, released July 2016)Uma

Uma is a delightful little elephant. In 2009, Uma was found at the age of 2-months old wandering on her own near Uhana in the eastern part of Sri Lanka. She arrived relatively healthy, but had to undergo rabies treatment. Uma is very lively and bright. She is the only calf that responds to her name with vocalizations. Now one of the oldest orphans, Uma is an excellent allomother to the younger babies. Her best girlfriends are Srimali, Gomari, and Grusha. Uma was released on July 26, 2016 with three other orphans.




(female, released March 2015)Samari

Samari was found alone in May 2008 in Samarakoon Wewa area in Hambanthota district. It is believed she was displaced due to a large scale development project meant to rebuild the area after the 2004 tsunami. Samari is a very beautiful elephant with long eyelashes and almond shaped eyes. Her constant attention to younger calves earned her a place as the top allomother. She was even allomother to our orphan Vibhi, who is still at the Transit Home. A favorite of the staff, Samari was easy going, always patient, very social, and surrounded by babies.

After her release in March 2015, the Transit Home monitored her for several weeks. Sadly, she was shot twice by illegal farmers. Luckily, the Transit Home staff were able to treat her wounds in the field and she fully recovered. Samari and her companion orphans moved away from that area shortly thereafter. However, these incidents convinced us to repeatedly push the local park staff to be more proactive against illegal activities within the nature reserve.




In loving memory of Meesha

Remembering Meesha(female, June 2008 – October 2014)

Meesha was rescued in October 2008 in Meegasdigiliya, Kahatagasdigiliya district in the north-central area of Sri Lanka at the age of 3-months. Kind villagers found her wandering on her own and alerted the Wildlife Department. Meesha was a kind elephant who enjoyed looking after younger orphans. Her favorite way to drink milk was ‘hands-free’. She’d curl her trunk in the air and gulp without holding the plastic tube. She was often in the company of her best girlfriend Gagani. Meesha was confirmed for release along with her girlfriend Gagani in March 2015. Sadly, six months before she was to be released, Meesha passed away from a venomous snake bite. We were devastated by Meesha passing, especially being so close to release. However, we are thankful she was able to live six wonderful years at the Elephant Transit Home where she was received excellent care and enjoyed the freedom of the free-range area with her good friends.