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From Friends of the Asian Elephant/FAE
15th November, 2008


There are people standing in front of the truck that is supposed to transport the sick elephants to Friends of the Asian Elephant Hospital (FAE’s Elephant Hospital) in Lampang province, north of Thailand. The drivers are told to send the elephants somewhere else or send the sick elephants to the place further which belongs to the government sector names Thai Elephant Conservation Center under Forest Industry Organization which is under the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources. Some of the drivers are threatened that they will be arrested if they send the elephants to FAE.
There has been a lot of confusion and unpleasant intentions from people who work there and FAE has reported to the police many times. FAE suffers continuously from spiteful acts and has had and is still having great problems.
People coming to visit Motala, the elephant who stepped on a landmine in 1999 and has been with FAE since then, will be told, if they should go to the wrong place, that MOTALA IS ALREADY DEAD. When the visitors say they do not think so because they have just seen the news about her, the visitors will be told that the place where Motala was is closed and not opened for public visit.
It has been very tiring due to these great efforts of the people who wish to cause harm to FAE. Over a decade, these things have happened, putting trees right in front of FAE’s Elephant Hospital Signs, destroying our signs, spraying paint on our signs, putting their own signs blocking all FAE’s Elephant Hospital signs, putting a sign of an arrow showing “ONE WAY” and a sign of "No Turning RIGHT" which is where FAE’s Elephant Hospital is located.
And the most dreadful incident was setting a fire surrounding our hospital in a U shape in January 2007. It was only 30-40 meters from the blind and injured elephants including Motala, Ekhe, Tanthong, and others. If it had not been because of the help we received from the local fire brigade and the sub-district emergency unit, and if we could not move all those injured elephants in time, WHAT WOULD HAVE HAPPENED TO THEM?
The Royal Forest Department’s Anti-Fire Unit refused to come saying that they would lose face because it was FIO’s act and not forest fires. The officials responsible for setting the fires claimed they were doing the Burning Prescription according to the order. FAE reported to the police, the Prime Minister and the Minister of the responsible Ministry but all in vain. In April 2007 a new fire was set (this time we saw no one) and the fire was burning all night until 11.00 a.m. the next day and again the local emergency units came to help.
Recently earlier this month, a veterinarian from France who has been in contact with FAE’s Founder that he would come to visit in November 2008, went to the wrong place and donated the needles that FAE needed to the other place with misunderstanding since he was told that that was the only elephant hospital.
On behalf of Friends of the Asian Elephant that built and operate the World’s First Elephant Hospital, I am seeking your kind response to our request to please look for Friends of the Asian Elephant’s sign if you wish to visit us. We are in the Mae Yao National Reserve which is next to the Center but we are not part of them and have no affiliation with them. The signs will show that we are located only 250 meters from the highway on Chiangmai-Lampang Road where the small road leads to the center is on the left and the road leads to FAE is on the right.
Thank you very much for the kind support from friends around the world.
For the elephants,
Soraida Salwala
Friends of the Asian Elephant (FAE)
A Thai Registered Charity


November 15, 2008
All these photos have been sent to the police, the Prime Minister, the Minister but nothing was done. They claimed they were taking care of the traffic. Our lawyer came up to see and instructed us to report to the police every time we know of these behaviours but it is a minor case here. We filed complaints to the police and to the Lawyers Institute. It took seven months of investigation for the Ombudsman, attached to the Thai Parliament and now independent. They came and we sat at the district, we meaning FIO (Forest Industry Organization of Thailand) (twenty of them) and FAE (only two so I called our two staff who drove me there to come into the room so we were four). That vet was rude really. He said the one way sign road would lead to FAE anyway on the way out, yes, true but people have to pay to enter their place before reaching us when they can easily come by this lane 250 meters from the road.


Pictures Added 11/15/2008

Fires set intentionally on 12th January, 2007 around FAE's Elephant Hospital in a U shape

Sick elephants were quickly moved to the Resting Unit but Motala was still in danger in her shelter
and some people in the dark night were behind her shelter setting fires even though we shouted at them to stop.

Photos taken on the 13th January, 2007 to see how close the fires were to Granny Tanthong

The destruction of forest where our sick elephants spent their night

Destruction of the fires in the U shape came to FAE sign on the road

Ashes of the trees burnt

Friends of the Asian Elephant FAE
Office of the National Culture Commission granted on the date
of October 19th, 1993
Registered Charity No. Kor-tor 273 (18th April, 1994)
Member of the NGOs for Environmental Protection and Conservation of Natural Resources No. 9/2535
(Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources)
Friends of the Asian Elephant is certified as a Public Benefit Organization,
Registration no. 0476 dated 18th November 2005
from National Social Welfare Promotion Commission, Ministry of Social Development and Human Security in accordance with the Social Welfare Promotion Act, 2003 section 34.
Member of Asian Conservation Alliance (ACA)

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