Millennium Elephant Foundation (MEF) is a 15 acre estate known as ‘Samaragiri’, in Sri Lanka. It has been the family 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) is a charity, and was founded in Sam’s memory in August 1999. MEF is continually working to improve the care, protection and treatment of elephants in Sri Lanka by providing a place of care and medical services and facilities.

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.

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.

Since MEF’s inception, care and sanctuary has been provided to more than 80 elephants. Today, 4 female and 5 male elephants ranging in age from 30-60 years are either temporarily or permanently resident at MEF.

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.