Friday, 30 May 2008

Release of Babies into the wild 14th June 2008

As part of the ongoing conservation efforts of Sri Lanka, 8 babies are being relased back into the wild. The 8 elephants were brought from around the country to the Elephant Transit Home. Born Free and some Sri Lankans have fostered them.

It is now time to release them back into the wild to alow them to roam free. These elephants may not have survived had the Elephant Transit Home not been established.
They will be released on the 14th June.

Date received: 2004.06.25
Sex : female Age (present) : 04yrs 07mon
History: Elephant was rescued from Madunagala area of Hambantota. It had fallen in to a cultivation canal where its mother had tried to pull her out. It had bruises and cuts. Body condition was normal and the animal was exhausted. It was saved by Hambantota & ETH wildlife officers. A female with matriarch characteristics.
Foster parent : Mr.R.P.Fernando at Colombo

Date Received: 2004.09.21
Sex : Female Age (present): 04yrs 02mon
History: Elephant was rescued from Maguruhitiyawa area, Kekirawa, Northwestern wildlife region.
It had fallen in to a pit. It had bruises.
Body condition was poor and the animal was exhausted when it was recovered and treated by Northwestern Wildlife Health management center. Presently a very active individual.
Foster Parent: Mrs.Senadhi Silva/ Ms. Atalugama at Colombo

Date Received: 2003.12.02
Sex : Male Age (present): 04yrs 05mon
History: Elephant was rescued from Hathareskotuwa area of GalOya, Higurakgoda, Mahaweli wildlife region. It was found when few weeks of age. The Umbilical wound was unhealed. Army officers had found it near the main rd.
Presently a very social male member of the ETH group.
Foster Parent : Born Free Foundation in the UK

Date Received: 2004.04.22
Sex : Male Age (present): 04yrs 06mon
History: Elephant was rescued from Sampath Nuwara, Weli Oya, North western Wildlife region.
It was about five months when recovered. Police officers had recovered it and it had jumped to a water reservoir when they tried to catch it. Presently a very handsome and compose male.
Foster Parent: Tokyo Cement Cooperation at Colombo

Date Received: 2004.08.12
Sex : Male Age (present): 03yrs 10mon
History: Elephant was rescued from Sagama tank reservation, Eastern wildlife region. It was few days old when recovered. No signs of its mother. It had come following a villager whom had handed over the elephant infant to the STF camp of the area. Another orphan was found 2 days later from the same area which is believed to be the twin sister of Nalaka.
Presently a very curious and a social male.
Foster Parent : Born Free Foundation in the UK

Date Received: 2004.09.04
Sex : Male Age (present): 03yrs 08mon
History: Elephant was rescued from Dambarawa, Wasgomuwa NP, Mahaweli wildlife region.
It was about 10 days when recovered. It was unconscious and lying laterally. Two adult females were pulling and pushing the infant and trying to drag the infant with them. Dr. Vijitha and his staff was able to intervene and rescue this unconscious emaciated baby which would have died within few hours. Now Tharos is completely recovered. Presently a handsome and shy male.
Foster Parent: Ms.Dilhani Palehepitiya at Colombo

Baby Blue
Date Received: 2007.05.22
Sex : Male Age (present): 05yrs
History: Elephant was rescued from Thuruwila, Nellikulama, Nachchaduwa, Northwestern Wildlife region. It was approx.04 yrs when recovered.
Sited with buffaloes by the Dr.Chandana and his staff. It had emaciated body condition with heavy intestinal worm infestation.
Baby Blue is a Tusker- Handsome and very shy though it is the dominant male of the group at ETH.
Foster Parent: Mr. Charon Sivadanabakad and Born Free Foundation in the UK

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Calendar of Events 2008

14th June
- Babies released into the wild

30th July - 3rd August
- Hikkaduwa Festival

7th - 17th August
- Kandy Esala Perahera

14th-24th August
-World Spice Festival

5th October
- Sri Lanka Marathon

10th - 13th October
- SriLankan Golf Classic

14th June
8 baby elephants released into the wild.

The six males and two female baby elephants namely, Asha, Marga, Atlas, Nalaka, Tharos, Baby Blue, Minoli, and Senani, are not ordinary little wild elephants who roam with the big ones. They are special, at least to the Wild Life Department because they rescued, nurtured and rared them to be strong to face the wild when time to come. Out of the eight elephants, Six of them were rescued in 2004 from pits and canals.
Department of wildlife conservation is the leading government organization responsible for Wildlife Conservation in Sri Lanka.
Today, Department of Wildlife Conservation manages 21 National parks which has good protection and unique ecosystem for living organism.
Elephant Transit Home (ETH) is also a Wild Animal Hospital managed by Department of Wildlife conservation. It was built in south-western corner of Udawalawe tank in 1995, and it was a part of the Udawawe Nation Park. Elephant Transit Home was established with the objective of rehabilitating orphans young elephants from wild back to Wild.

30th July to 3rd August
Hikkaduwa Festival

A unique event, first of its kind to be organized by SLTPB in the hikkaduwa beach that takes the spirit of a carnival. Spread over 05 days, the festival carries differing themes for each day. Wednesday for the family, Thursday for the ladies, Friday to Sunday especially for the youth. The carnival will carry many events including Beach sports, Horse riding, kiddies corner, kite festival, night beach market, movie nights, Brazilian dance shows, theme nights by restaurants and bars, firework displays and fire dances. Many competitions such as sand castles, school cricket competition and debate competitions, post card competitions….. all awaits in the Hikkaduwa beach.

7th -17th August 2008
Kandy Esala Perahera

A colourful annual religious festival held on the streets of Kandy involving dancers, elephants and the exposing of the Tooth Relic of the Lord Buddha. Please visit their official website

14th-24th August
World Spice Festival

The culinary delights of the World Spice Festival draw on a real mixture of Sri Lankan spices and cooking methods as well as the talents of visiting chefs and the signature spices from their home countries. This year’s World Spice Food Festival promises all the excitement and culinary delights that have endeared by visitors in the past. Participating hotels and restaurants will conduct the food festival for one week in their restaurants.

5th October
Sri Lanka Marathon

Colombo Marathon if back for the 6th time ! Over 1,000 runners from Sri Lanka and around the world are expected to take part.

10th - 13th October

SriLankan Golf Classic
Victoria Golf Club Golf ( plays host to this tournament in its 13th year. The sport was introduced by British to the country. Rated amongst the 100 most beautiful courses by Golf Digest, Victoria Golf Course is close to Kandy and on a hydro electric power dam. Sponsored by SriLankan Airlines, the tournament offers some fabulous prizes, and there is also an opportunity to experience the scenic Sri Lankan interiors and hills. The tournament website is :

Thursday, 22 May 2008

Secrets - May 2008 Whales, Plates made of Leaves and a video from 1932

Pictures are from LBO website


From July 2008, Secrets of Ceylon will bring you news and information about special hotels and places to visit in Ceylon. Ceylon was the name for Sri Lanka when the British ruled over Sri Lanka. This year (February 2008) is 60 years since Sri Lanka gained independence.

Ceylon is well known for her tea, gems, friendly people and unique customs and traditions. Through this news bulletin, we will remind you of these, and also show you the new gems that Ceylon has to offer.

Did you know that :

  • Ceylon has whale watching on the south east coast and according to recent studies show that this is one of the best spots to see the blue whale

  • Ceylon has new eco friendly crockery made out of leaves

(see below for the story)

See an interesting video on Ceylon :
Tropical Ceylon 1932

Jean-Marc Flambert

Giant Location
By Charitha Fernando
For the full story visit (

Sri Lanka among top blue whale spots in the world
May 07, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lanka may be one of the easiest places to watch whales, allowing it to become a global top spot to watch blue and sperm whales, a researcher and an eco-tourism specialist have said.
"I think Sri Lanka has enormous potential to be a whale destination," marine biologist Charles Anderson, who had been studying Indian Ocean whales for 24 years from the Maldives, told LBO after an observation tour in the South of Sri Lanka.
"My experience was fantastic."
A high concentration of blue whales and sperm whales has been spotted in the seas off Dondra Head along the deep south coast of Sri Lanka during the months of January to April.
"We spent most of April going out to the sea, to see marine mammals and we have been very successful," says Gehan de Silva Wijeyeratne, chief executive of Jetwing Eco.

"Our naturalist at the Light House hotel in Galle, Anoma Algiyawadu, went out on 24 occasions up to April 26, and on very one of those occasions, he saw blue whales.
"Anoma had sometimes seen three, some times five and even ten blue whales, off Dondra point.
"I went out myself and I too saw blue whales every single occasion, I also saw sperm whales on different occasions," he said.
The frequency as well as the proximity to the shore makes Sri Lanka one of the easiest places in the world to spot blue or sperm whales.
Blue whales are possibly the largest animals on earth growing up to some 110 feet in length and weighing up to some 180 metric tons.
They feed on krill, a shrimp like marine invertebrate. Sperm whales, the largest carnivore mammals, mostly feed on squid and octopus in the deep sea bed.
Naturalists say conditions around the island are good for whale habitat due to the nutrient flow from the country's river system.
Though Trincomalee was earlier tipped to be a whale watching hot spot, security restrictions had shelved projects to develop whale watching in the area.
The Voyage of Odyssey, the second research vessel to do research on marine life off Sri Lanka's southern coast in 2003, had also documented whale sightings.
"To see a Blue whale at sea is something most of us can only dream about. To see more than one in a lifetime is a rarity reserved for a fortunate few," Genevieve Johnson, a research crew member, was quoted as saying in one of the reports in 2003.
"To see so many in Sri Lankan waters is good news indeed."

Leafy Dishes
By Charitha Fernando
For the full story visit (

Sri Lanka leaf plate maker entices tourist industry
May 04, 2008 (LBO) – A Sri Lankan entrepreneur is adding value to throw-away plant leaf matter by making bio-degradable plates and dishes which are starting to be used by the leisure industry.
A.U.S.K. Chandrasiri makes disposable plates, dishes, lunch boxes and cups from teak, banana, palm leaf and areca nut leaf sheaths known locally as the Kolapatha, replacing environmentally harmful plastic, polythene and Styrofoam containers. Chandrasiri says his leaf products are made from 100 percent bio degradable materials and is leak proof, non toxic and light in weight.
His eco friendly products are high in demand from nearby hotels that use them to serve salads, curries and deserts to foreign tourists.
"Our foreign guests admire these plates and dishes very much. They like to eat out of these locally made environmentally friendly plates and dishes," Lucian Joseph, Restaurant Manager, of Gimanhala, a hotel in Dambulla said.
"We serve bread and butter, salads and grilled fish and chicken in these leaf plates and trays," he said.
"Every hotel offers fruit juice in glasses but with Mr. Chandrasiri's eco friendly invention, we are now offering guests the welcome drink in cups made out of areca nut leaves," Joseph said.
"They are surprised as to how this cup is made from an areca nut leaf without any leaks.
"Some admire them so much that they take a few as souvenirs back with them," he said.

Chandrasiri says areca nut leaves are nothing new to Sri Lanka as they had been used by Sri Lanka' indigenous people called weddas since early days.
"The areca nut leaf is nothing new to Sri Lanka. Our ancestors had used areca nut leaves to wrap food to prevent it from spoiling," he said.
"Food such as meats, honey and fruits had been stored in areca nut leaf bags," he said.
"After using the areca nut leaves the weddas used to wash them and hang them over firewood hearths to make them germ-free," he said.