Millennium Elephant Foundation (MEF) is situated on a beautiful 15 acre estate known as ‘Samaragiri’, in Sri Lanka, which has been home to the Samarasinghe family for many generations.
The family has owned elephants since the 1960’s. In 1979 Mr Sam Samarasinghe (1939 – 1991) an animal lover opened the estate to the public as Club Concept, since then guests have been able to interact with elephants by riding, bathing and feeding.
Club Concept supports Millennium Elephant Foundation which was founded in Sam’s memory in August 1999 with the assistance of a world renowned animal charity. MEF has been working continually to improve the treatment of elephants in Sri Lanka by providing a place of medical services and facilities. Charity Number 457.
Club Concept welcomes visitors and volunteers to meet and experience our elephants. We practice responsible riding tourism and follow guidelines set out by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority.
In an effort to increase awareness about the life of domesticated elephants in Sri Lanka and the work the Samarasinghe family put into improving their welfare. MEF welcomes volunteers and tourists to meet and experience our elephants. We practice responsible tourism and follow guidelines set out by the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority.
Since MEF’s inception, care and a home has been provided to more than 80 elephants. Today, over 6 elephants ranging in age from 25-60 years are either temporarily or permanently residing at MEF.
Club Concept own two elephants, Lakshmi and her daughter Pooja who was the first elephant born in captivity in Sri Lanka. Pooja is a success story to come out of the work done at MEF.
MEF has also worked on veterinary training including pioneering research into tuberculosis in elephants.
The income from our volunteers and tourism generates the funds necessary for the elephant’s sustenance, care and to rescue more captive elephants from a life of hardship.
MEF is licensed by Footsteps Elephant Consultancy (Private LTD), the only elephant keeper training program accredited by the Sri Lankan Department of Wildlife.
MEF also run a 24 hour on call Mobile Veterinary Unit (MVU) providing free healthcare and emergency treatments to any sick elephant across the country.
In 2012 we started a human elephant conflict project in the rural areas of Habrana. The conflict to coexistence program worked alongside the farmers to educate them on the damage they were causing by hurting elephants, and put in place deterrents and safety to protect the families and the land but in an ethical natural way, as to not harm the elephants.
This included building tree houses for the farmers so they could look out for wild elephants crossing, providing bells so that they can warn other farmers, planting chilli plants along the area elephants would invade in order to deter them as elephants do not like chilli’s and also bee boxes on the farmers homes as elephants are scared of bees. MEF also compensate the farmer’s crops which is the main income for them to support their families.