The Raja Story


Uda Walawe NP’s most famous and awesome attractions was “Walawe Raja”, a majestic tusker in the prime of its life. He was the star of a film shot by the BBC/Discovery by Mike Birkhead and Toby Sinclair in early 2000, entitled ‘The Last Tusker’.

Raja is usually sighted during the drought period, from around July to October each year. During the rest of the year no one really knows where he disappears to. In all probability, he wanders out of the northern side of the park towards Balangoda and Hambegamuwa regions.

Raja was last sighted almost 8-9 months ago. He was carrying a bad wound on his trunk, which has developed into a tear. Due to the water leakage out of the perforated trunk he was finding it difficult to drink water. The veterinary team at UWNP had been treating him for a while.

However this year Raja has not been spotted at all and has missed his usual arrival. There is now mounting concern that something untoward has happened to this icon of UWNP.

A few elephant enthusiasts and avid ‘Raja’ fans, now hope to undertake a quick basic search to try and ascertain what has happened to Walawe Raja.

It is hoped to get sponsorships and newspaper/radio coverage and it is expected that some of the larger corporate houses will support the project.

However the greatest support and impact can come from the general enthusiast and we urge you to join us in rasing awareness and actively participating and following the Find Raja Project.