FAE/Friends of the Asian Elephant
The World's FIRST Elephant Hospital
Soraida Salwala, Founder
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The World's First Elephant Hospital
Lampang, Thailand
2001 through 2007

The World's First Elephant Hospital
is NOT part of the Thai Elephant Conservation Center/TECC

Friends of the Asian Elephant banner

Updated April 19, 2009
For Overseas Transfer: Bank of Ayudhya Public Co., Ltd.
Suanplu Branch, Bangkok, Thailand
A/C Number: Savings No. 040-1-14242-7
Swift Number: AYUDTHBK
And please fax us your name, address, TEL&FAX number informing us of the transfer
so we can send you our receipts.
For residents in Thailand:
* Postal or Money Order payable to "FRIENDS OF THE ASIAN ELEPHANT"
P.O. Hangchatr District, Lampang, Thailand
and send to
Branch Office
295 Moo 6, Lampang-Chiangmai Road (K.M. 28-29),
Viengtan, Hangchatr District, Lampang 52190
Postal or Int'l Money Orders for overseas donors will help cut cost on Bank fees

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)

www.elephants-soraida.com is not owned by FAE and has no connection to FAE.
Thank you, Soraida Salwala

Please note that the official website of FAE/
Friends of the Asian Elephant is:

The Official Website of FAE/
Friends of the Asian Elephant
The World's First Elephant Hospital is:
Updates & Photos/JodysJungle
2001 to 2007
FAE Mobile Vet
Motala Landmine Victim 1999 to 2010
Baby Mosha's Photo Album

News From FAE's Elephant Hospital
Lampang, Thailand
Date: Thu 4 Oct 2007
"We had a very long day on Monday 1st of October 2007, nine hours and ten minutes operating on a female elephant, Sinuan. She is 25 years old and She had suffered with this huge tumour on the vulva for many years Finaly she arrived at FAE on the 16th of August . Since the lab result did not show whether it was benign or malignant, our chief vet, Dr. Preecha Phuangkam decided to remove it to relief Sinuan from her suffering. Four vets and one vet nurse with one vet student and all FAE' s staff were among the team of nineteen assisting in this big task.
Over nine hours of operation was tough for Sinuan, the elephant. The tumour weighed 8 kilogrammes. The surgery line is 72 cm. with 135 stiches. Today she exercises and walks quite fast."
Soraida Salwala
Founder & Secretary General
Friends of the Asian Elephant (FAE)
More information please contact: 081-936-3500


Dear Miss Jody:
Kamprai has given birth to a male baby just five minutes past midnight last night. Both mother and the baby are fine. Kamprai had shown sign since the evening of Sat 22nd September. We are so glad that she accepts her baby well within eight hours. I have named the baby "Zeno" since his elder brothers' names are Songkran and Auro. I thought it would be nice to have this name for him. The photos will be on the website soon.
Friends of the Asian Elephant/FAE
The World's First Elephant Hospital

Kamprai and Baby Zeno


Friends of the Asian Elephant
Motala 8/25/07
Dear Miss Jody:
On Tuesday 28th August, 2007 will mark the 8th anniversary of the success of Motala's operation. Associate Prof. Therdchai Jivacate from the Prostheses Foundation will be present to visit Motala and have a meeting with me and Dr. Preecha. The conclusion will be released to the reporters after our meeting around 2.30 p.m.
We have some photos and info (in Thai) on www.elephant-soraida.com
It would be very kind of you to please let FAE's supporters know. Thank you so much.

Friends of the Asian Elephant
687/2 Ram-Indra Road Soi 32,
Tharaeng, Bangkhen,
Bangkok 10230
Tel. 0-2509-1200
Fax. 0-2509-3533
e-mail fae@elephant-soraida.com
web site www.elephant-soraida.com
motala@jodysjungle.com (page is slow to load)
F.A.E. updates@jodysjungle.com


Elephants hit by cars. Tetanus infected, wounded from gunshots by poachers or suffering from other diseases appear to be a normal subject of which a few takes notice. But the question is, “Are we prepared to encounter such disastrous event, an episode of our becoming-extinct terrestrial animals.”
Clearly, Thailand’s wild and domesticated elephants are declining at steady rate. Although some of the causes are apparent: destruction of forests, lack of traditional employment, lack of income for owners, poaching of elephants for ivories, catching the baby elephants for sale (by killing their mothers) and also lack of veterinary care.
Despite the official closing of monopolized logging, the illegal loggers are still at their trade. The elephants that are used in this illegal logging trade are overworked. Some suffer from broken legs, some with broken backbones and some are addicted to amphetamines for an over laboring demand.
FAE’s Elephant Hospital has been constructed in the compound of Mae Yao National Reserve, Hangchatr District, Lampang Province Thailand; based on the fact that Lampang is the centre of Northern Thailand. Considerable man-power in the area could enable FAE veterinarians to promptly attend to the sick elephants.


Obituary Announcement: Kamsri
Monday 8th May, 2006
On Saturday the 6th of May, 2006 around eleven a.m. we were informed that a full term pregnant elephant would be coming to our hospital.
Kamsri, 35 years old, arrived at 12.20 p.m. Upon arrival we found mucopurulent discharge and blood from her vagina. She was restless and suffered from pain and dehydration. Kamsri opened her mouth and stretched her foreleg and hind legs every two minute showing signs of great pain.
Supportive treatment of IV , gluclose, antibiotics and vitamin were given. Kamsri could not eat nor drink.
Result of ultrasound showed no sign of baby movement. More blood came out. Kamsri was under close observation the whole night.
Subjective data from the owner of Kamsri:
Kamsri was attacked by another elephant at the elephant camp in Chiangmai since early April, 2006 resulted in Kamsri's fall. She was still at work until the 2nd of May when she showed sign of pain, depress and anorexia.
At 1.14 p.m. on Sunday 7th May, Kamsri choked, shivered and collapsed at 1.23 and died at 1.25
Result from post mortem performed by Dr. Preecha Phaungkum:
Mucopurulent discharge in vagina, bleeding in abdomen cavity and hemorrhage spots in omentum and abdomen cavity, rupture of uterus and trauma in diaphram and spleen.
The male baby was about eighteen months old with the height of 80 cm. and weighed 120 kg. We were indeed saddened by her death because we have been advising all the camps and elephant owners to rest the pregnant elephants and bring them to our elephant hospital for delivery at the earliest time of pregnancy. Overworking and still at work for the pregnant elephants could result in accidents and death.


Dear Miss Jody:
Our Elephant Hospital was hit by a hail storm on the 14th April, 2006. Fortunate enough that no elephant nor staff was hurt but there are damages. Trees fell over the roofs and debris were every where. Motala's Infirmary was hit by the hails and the roof was broken but she is all right. No harm to her except over 30 pieces of the roof tiles were broken.



Other damages include the roofs of all the accommodation quarters, nursery, infirmary units, office building, two electric posts were broken in halves. Exhibition boards were all gone, torn and ruined by the rain, signs damaged. Trees smashed over the lab and the ceiling fell down. At the time of the storm (around 2.30 p.m.) every elephant and the staff were inside and not out in the open.
I hope we would be able to repair everything and fix them in good order soon. Our website is still being corrected. New photos will be posted. It is always difficult to get things right.
MOTALA is doing just fine and Motoo and Mojay (the two sisters) are recovering. They have started to have an afternoon walk to exercise since the 19th April. Mojay is sometime annoyed by her younger sister and hits her with the trunk. We try to persuade Motoo to play to lessen her stress since her sister is not paying much attention to her now.
Champen will be going home next month. She has been with us for three years now and she is ready. We want to wait until the forests are green so she would not suffer from the heat en route. Our new website is elephant.or.th I hope we could update it regularly. Have a nice day!
Soraida Salwala, Founder
Friends of the Asian Elephant


Elephants Burma
Friday, October 13, 2006
Elephants threatened by landmines, says vet
Bangkok Post
October 15, 2005 Lampang
More than 100 elephants hauling logs in Burma run the risk of losing their lives to landmines.
Veterinarian Preecha Puangkham, director of the medical section at Lampang's Elephant Hospital, said the number of elephants killed or maimed by landmines in the border area has increased, as hauling logs yields large incomes for the owners of the animals and their handlers, or mahouts. More than 100 elephants from Thailand have been taken to forest-rich Burma to haul logs. `
`Now, how can we help solve the problems faced by more than 100 elephants at risk of landmines in Burma? And how can we prevent people from taking elephants to work in that country? Cooperation from all sides, particularly elephant owners, is needed. They should pay more attention to the safety of the pachyderms than to their wages,'' said Dr Preecha. He raised the issue after two young female elephants, aged six and two years, were severely injured after stepping on a landmine in Burma. The explosion on Oct 5 mutilated six-year-old Mojay's right hind leg and Motoo's left front leg.
The animals were following their mother to haul logs in the Burmese forest opposite Tak's Tha Song Yang district when they stumbled on the landmine. The two pachyderms are now being treated at the Elephant Hospital. Dr Preecha said Motoo's injuries were worrying and she required intensive care. Mojay suffered wounds to her hind leg like Motala, another landmine victim, who was admitted to the hospital six years ago. After Mojay's wounds have healed, she might be fitted with an artificial leg, said Dr Preecha. Pasupo Wiangbanlue of Tak's Tha Song Yang district, the owner of the two injured elephants, said high wages drew him to take his elephants to work in Burma.


Subj: A Quiet Time at FAE's Elephant Hospital
Date: 12/10/2005
It is the first time in years that our hospital is so quiet. There are only eleven elephants in house. Quite a change from the full house most of the days in years.
Champa left just before noon, on her way back to an elephant camp in Chiangmai. She did not want to get on the truck. I felt she wanted to stay and not back to work. How I wish I could keep them all! Our vets, Dr. Goy and Dr. Kaew have gone out since early morning on their mission for the Mobile Vets. I have just got her call that the two visited five camps and will stop for dinner and head back here.
One baby born a few weeks ago in one camp is undernourished because her mother does not have enough milk. So, baby of Saj-ja is being fed with powdered milk provided by FAE. Her body is fuller now. The mahout is taking good care of her and feeds her with ripe bananas in between.
Motala is the one who sees most of the changes and she is , I would say, missing her little friend, Aura.
Tah is still under musth but easy to handle. He is actually quite calm.
Champenm, Ma-nguay-low and Kamsoong are stable while our other four residents are doing quite fine in this cold weather.
The temperature is approximately 10-14 C during the night. Should it drop we shall light the bonfire to keep the elephants warm.
Baby Mo-too and Mo-jay's conditions improve. We shall let them come out for a walk tomorrow morning. To check on their balance and most importantly to let them exercise their muscles.
Good night!
Friends of the Asian Elephant

Updates of FAE's Elephant Hospital
Date: 10/13/2005
Dear Friends:
Once again please accept my apologies for the long silence in updating our activities here. I have just arrived here at FAE's Elephant Hospital last night and we have had a busy and tough time trying to save lives. Four elephants arrived yesterday with critical conditions. At four o'clock this morning another two arrived with the same conditions, anorexia, depressed and bloated. We suspect it is from the grass they ate that were contaminated with pesticides. One out of the seven (one came on the fourth of October) with the same conditons, was in the most serious condition. He lay down and sat up and completely restless. He collapsed this morning at 7:35 a.m. There was no life sign and then he was gone.

His name was Boonnum, 35 years old.
They all came from the same elephant camp in Chiangmai. The other six are under close observation but they are gradually gaining back their health. Our vet team led by Dr. Preecha performed the enema, giving intravenous followed by letting them walk to exercise. I hope they would be better soon. A warning message from me has been sent out to all camps for the precaution and prevention of feeding the elephants with grasses. There might be some foul play as some camps are close to the orchards. Another factor is it is getting colder in the north this time of the year, the contaminated fodder causes indigestion. Young and too overgrown grass are also the cause. Elephant would eat soil when their bodies are lack of minerals could cause obstruction in the intestines. However, there are other serious cases coming. Two elephants stepped on the landmines are going to be transported from Nongbua, Tak Province to our hospital. They could not find the trucks but eventually would. It is a distance of 400 kilogrammes and the roads are quite dangerous. They have to come slowly.
I shall write again when I can.
For the elephants,
Soraida Salwala
Founder & Secretary General
Friends of the Asian Elephant (FAE)


Asian NGO’s Unite to Stop Live Elephant Trade from Thailand
Dear friends:
I have just returned from Tokyo to give a keynote address on the subject above at the first international workshop held by ACATF.
The ATTACHED FILE is a summary of my speech for the press release.
Sincere regards,
Soraida Salwala


Two Seriously Injured Babies, Sisters
Date 10/13/05
Dear Friends:
Finally the two elephants that stepped on landmines arrived at 6:15 a.m. this morning. I was shocked when they opened the truck and saw two babies seriously injured.The two are sisters, walking alongside their mother but the mother was not hurt. Mo-jay is 6 years and 10 months old, severely injured on the right hind leg. Her foot is shredded and there is no foot pad left while Mo-too, her sister who is two and ten months old, is severely injured on the left front leg. The injuries are almost the same, no foot pad left. Mo-too has not weaned off and she cries for her mother but is always consoled by Mo-jay. She would reach her trunk out to touch her young sister in a way of saying, "I am here with you". It is a heart rending sight to see the two young ones suffering the same plight but do not lose courage. They have each other now and all of us as their only family. We have treated them with painkillers, anti-infection, dressed the wounds, etc. My staff shall send photos on a separate mail...Soraida

The sisters injuries are almost the same, no foot pad left.



Dear Jody:
I am in Lampang now with Motala. She is doing great and she has a new friend KAMPRAI, who is expecting a baby soon. I believe the two like each other as they seem to be very friendly. Kramprai is housed next to Motala. Motala is kept in her shelter because it rains a lot these days. However, she could move around eating grass and bananas. She loves her morning snacks of horse pellets. She would lie down often to rest on the soft sand bed we make for her. There is no bed sores on her body. The amputated left foot is closing. It is another three inches with the skin and tissues growing. Apart from her new friend Kamprai, Motala enjoys the company of baby Noel who is housed next to her shelter during the day time. Noel was born in December last year (2003) from his mother Thongkwao. Noel loves to reach his trunk out as if to reach Aunty Motala and Motala would move nearer to Noel. Noel, then would splash water in the bucket happily. They are so happy here and I try to make them happy as best I could. I talk to Motala many times a day, give her a hug every now and then. She loves to have me around and when I am not here, she seems unhappy and refuses to eat, so the mahout has to tell her every day that 'Mother is working and she misses you so much and you ought to eat to be healthy'. To every one's surprise, she will put her trunk up and start to eat again. I shall try to send her recent photos to you as soon as I can. Thank you so much for being there for all the animals and for being there for me too.


Soraida has named the calf Auro because he was born at dawn.

I am delighted to bring you this good news.
After KRAMPRAI's arrival at FAE's Elephant Hospital on 20/04/2004, we had staff on shifts to watch over her 24 hours. On Friday 17th September around 5.00 p.m., Kamprai showed sign. After twelve hours, at 5:00 am. on Saturday 18th Sept., she was in labour and delivered a healthy male baby at 6:16 a.m. The new baby weighs more than a hundred kilogrammes with 91 cm. in height. He has five nails on each front foot and four nails on the hind ones. His mother accepts him and is feeding him all right. I have attached his photo here.

Kramprai's Baby Boy
Best regards,
Soraida Salwala


Thursday 12 Feb 2004
Dear friends:
I am sorry for not being able to send you photos of THONGKWAOU's baby whom I have named 'NOEL'. Hope to send them to you soon. He is healthy and naughty as all babies are. BEE-BEE and Nokia are also doing well.
Apart from our five permanent residents and three other elephants that are injured by landmines, we have another three tuskers with infection on their feet and tusks' cavity.
Sunday 15 Feb 2004
At 8.30 p.m. last night, two severely injured female and a tusker arrived. Both were attacked by the same bull elephant.
On Saturday 14th February, 2004 at 9.00 a.m., BOONMEE [a 32-year-pld cow] was attacked by Plai RACHAN. Plai RACHAN is a 40-year-old tusker who has been in musth for the past 15 days and got loose from his chain.
BOONMEE was chained to a tree when she was attacked. Her right hind leg is deformed, it must have been broken. Other injuries on her hip, etc.
At 4.00 p.m. the same day, Plai Rachan attacked a tusker, Plai Tah who also was nearby. His hind leg is deformed too. It must have been broken.
BOONMEE AND TAH worked at a newly opened elephant camp in Chiangmai. They were both chained to the trees. Tah was chained 30 metres away from the camp. He has been in musth too.
RACHAN has been shot on four legs to stop him. We are enquiring about his conditions too since no one could tell us how he is.
BOONMEE and TAH would be sedated on Monday morning to put the bamboo casts on their legs to support them before we make the fiberglass casts. It would be tough for both of them. If they cannot make it, we have no other choice.
It has been a busy weekend, another patient arrived this afternoon. Pung KWANG, a 70-year-old cow collapsed last night and she was transported to us. We'll start intravenous in a short while. She has lost her appetite. It must have been her old age. The digestion fails. She is deteriorating. However, we are doing our best for them.
For the elephants,
Soraida Salwala


To: JodysJungle.com
Eighteen hours after the birth of Thongkwaou's baby, NOEL, Thongkwaou finally allowed him to feed from her. At birth Noel was 96 c.m. in height and weighed approx 110 KG. He was slightly bigger than BEE-BEE. He is a sweet baby and Thongkwaou is proving to be a good mother.
I am sad to send you the sad news after such a good one.
TOUR, the tusker I wrote to you about, had to be put down this morning.
He has slept peacefully at last.
Soraida Salwala
Friends of the Asian Elephant [FAE]

Bangkok/Sun 1st June, 2003

has fully recovered but shall have to change her diets to more digestive
ones.  Since she has aged a lot, her hearing is not so good and her right
eye sight that she could dimly see is failing her.

SANGTHIEN whose tail we had to amputate on the 20th May is recovering well
from the two surgeries of abcesses on his right leg.

THE OTHER FOUR PERMANENT RESIDENTS, apart from Tanthong are doing all right.
TAHNEE's anemia is still closely watched.  EKHE,AUAN,MOTALA are very
cooperative; with their new friends around, they are acting as the happy

MANGUAY-LOW is also has some problem with anemia and eats less so we have
her on intravenous and has started a special diet on her menu yesterday i.e.
plain cooked rice with yellow beans mixed with sugar and salt. She consumes
this well.

CHAMPEN is improving and the growing nail and sole make her scratch them on
the corners of the cement disinfectant tank, so I have them rubbed off and
rounded up with cement.  No sharp corners for her to rub the new tissues on.

I am not sure I had missed this case in my previous message but:
PLAI PONG, a ten-year old male who came on the 23rd April went back on the
29th April. His vomit stopped and he could eat and drink normally.

are happy mother and child but TINY's naughtiness has caused him several
falls and stings from bugs but we built a wooden  wide pen for them to stay.
TINY could wander in there freely with his mother but when he grows taller,
I am sure he would try to climb it.  We'll see to that.

JOKIA, the expecting mother still has more months before her pregnancy is

THONG-KWAOU, another expecting mother has already shown signs, the baby is

13] TOKI
the inflammation of the abcesses have reduced.

Mother, PUNG BOONDEE and her unnamed female baby of four years old arrived
on the 24th May.  The baby had diarrhea but is recovering now.


FAE was informed at 2.00 a.m of 29th May that a female baby was born in one
of the Elephants Camps in Chiangmai but unfortunately, ANG-KOR, her mother
tried to kill her.  Dr. Piak rushed there and reported back that the baby
sufferred from internal bleeding.  We managed to feed her with her mother's
milk in the bottle.  It was ANG-KOR's first baby.  FAE had warned all owners
that to be on the safe side, all expecting mothers nearing the full time of
pregnancy should be brought to FAE's Elephant Hospital.  Some of them did
not listen.  The baby died early  last night after the convulsion with the
veterian by her side. We had done our best.  The postmortem showed severe
bleeding in liver and other organs.

Elephants in captivity are killing their babies more than ever and FAE has
been very much concerned.

I will try to have photos of TINY sent to you or updates on our web.

Thank you for your continued support.

For the elephants,

Soraida Salwala
Founder& Secretary General
Friends of the Asian Elephant [FAE]


Dear Friends:
I returned to Bangkok this evening and received good news. My letter sent to the Prime Minister on the 4th of April, 2003 was proved to be satisfying. The representative of BMA [Bangkok Administrative Metropolitan] sent me today a letter that from the order of the Prime Minister's Office for BMA to reply to FAE prior to our request to announce Bangkok as Elephant Free Zone, BMA had announced it on 11th April but they just sent a letter and their announcement to me today.
At least, this small step is a great achievement. I wish other provinces would follow soon. There should be no more elephants on the streets risking their lives and others.
Regarding TANTHONG, we managed to get the obstruction in the intestines out this afternoon. She can drink now but we still keep the intravenous on to help her gain strength. She is under close observation.
SANGTHIEN's wound is clean. We hope he would recover soon.
BABY TINY has grown a lot and very naughty. Everyone adores him.
I hope these good news would bring you a smile that FAE & I rarely give you.
Soraida Salwala

Updates on Sick Elephants
Lampang/Wed 21st May, 2003
our blind elephant has fallen ill on Sat 17th May. She refused to drink or eat. We have been giving her intravenous. And she finally urinated but only a few times. Yesterday she started to eat young bamboo leaves and was more alert but today she fails to eat or drink and shows sign of difficult breathing. We are trying to save her. Tanthong has been with FAE since April 1997. She is over 70 years old but apart from complete blindness on her left eye and the right one that we saved, she was strong.
We have two new patients, one is our former patient ( who suffered from high glucose in her blood and almost left her blind in 2001). She is pregnant and might deliver before Jokia who is also pregnant and has been here since January this year.
The second new patient is Sangthien who came on the eight of May with knife wound on his tail. We decided to amputate his tail yesterday.
I'll let you know about TANTHONG in FAE next updates.
Soraida Salwala
Founder & Secretary General


FAE's Elephant Hospital


Life is tough. I know I should remain neutral but the cases of elephants stepping on landmines, mothers killing their babies and other worrying problems have saddened me a great deal.
JOKIA's baby is a joy to all of us and I am sorry to send you the sad news right after the good one.
MOBRA, a 30-year-old female Thai elephant arrived at 2.10 a.m. yesterday morning at FAE's Elephant Hospital. MOBRA just wandered across the border to another side of the river, so her mahout went searching for her by following her footprints. He found her one kilometer away and got on her back to walk her home. MOBRA stepped on the mine right on the way at 9.00 a.m. on 26th July, 2003. The mahout was still on her neck, unhurt. He tried to walk her back but the tides had gone too high up. It had been raining heavily. They waited there together for SIX DAYS before they could cross the river, man and elephant, on Fri 1st August. It took almost 11 hours drive from where the truck could load her to transport her to FAE.
While waiting, the mahout, JORKAY, boiled water and used it to help reduce MOBRA's pain. He did not know what to do but tried all he could to help MOBRA. Mobra is not a working elephant. She is inherited in the family of an old woman in the village of TAK province. The injuries are on her right front foot. They are so severe, less than Motala but more than Champen and Manguaylow. MOBRA was blown off the ground from the strong explosion. She still bleeds from time to time, has fever and the wounds are already infected. Her leg is swollen. MOBRA is a bit nervous with the new surroundings but her temperament is good and quite cooperative.
For the elephants,
Soraida Salwala
Friends of the Asian Elephant [FAE]


Bangkok/Thu 24th July, 2003
Good News!
JOKIA gave birth to a healthy female baby at 11.00 this morning. Jokia had shown sign yesterday, so our two vets stood by with all the team the whole night. They reported to me every half hour. Until a few minutes before eleven, I was told JOKIA was still eating. [Usually the pregnant elephant that is expecting would stop eating a few hours before delivery]. At eleven ten, good news came. Jokia delivered her baby with no complication but we had to snatch the baby right away as planned. Within less than an hour the baby fed herself from her mother without rejection from JOKIA. Thongkwaou whom we expected to deliver before JOKIA is closely observed.
Happy day to all of us!
Soraida Salwala

Jokia's baby has been named "Bee-Bee"
in honor of Brigitte Bardot's generous donation to FAE.




Subj: In - patients
From: www.elephant.tnet.co.th
To: JodysJungle
Lampang/Wed 9th April, 2003
At present we have eleven elephants here, five are our permanent residents. The six elephants include a mother and her new born--Pung Paitoon and Plai Tini [for Tiny], Pung Toki with abcess, Pung Jokia [expecting the baby], Pung Champen and Manguaylow [landmine victims]. Paitoon gave birth to an underweight baby of only 30 kg. We quickly went to see her and the baby. I called him TINY but to sound like a Karen language, it was pronounced as Ti-ni. It is sad for me looking at the photos remembering the time we fought for him and his mother. I asked my staff to go and buy banana flowers from the food stalls because it was a dry season and no banana trees in our area. They were for Paitoon, Tiny's mother, to eat as to increase the milk. People laughed at me but it worked. They use these banana flowers to increase lactation in humans.
She could not nurse the baby because he was only 70 cm tall and could not reach his mother's breasts to feed himself. He needed another 20 cm to reach his mother. So we rush them here and fed TINI, the baby with soya milk and introduced him to his mother, standing on the sack of hay. Now he is four-week-old and happily feeding himself from his mother's milk.
Soraida Salwala
Friends of the Asian Elephant

Tiny and Mother Paitoon

July 7, 2004
Today around three p.m., a sick baby (aged a year and five months old) arrived at FAE's Elephant Hospital. The first diagnosis was haemoragic. We were told that the baby's name was DUI-DUI. We tried our best to save him but his temperature dropped and he was gone within an hour. It was one of the saddest things that happened. The baby was the one whom we saved last year when he was only a day old. His mother is Paitoon. Hope you remember him, I named him TINY because he weighed only 30 kilogrammes. When his owner wanted to take him back , I opposed. Even though TINY became a big baby but he was only six months old. The owner sold him to a new man and they changed his name. He had grown up so much but we recognized him.

The last two photos were in black and white taken on his arrival with a new identity.


Poor Tiny!
We shall bury him tomorrow and plant a tree on his grave. The tree would grow big to give shade for other elephants, Bigger than TINY himself and I am sure he will be happy to be always remembered as the branches of the tree reach out to the sky.
He was once a joy to us all.
My grief!
Soraida Salwala
Friends of the Asian Elephant

Tiny's Tree 2008

Tiny's Tree 2008
"When grown, the Rain Tree flowers splash water down when they are in full bloom
and the water comes down like the drizzles from the rain".


Updates: 2/21/2003
Dear Jody, I do apologize that the updates had not been done as reguarly as it should.
Soraida Salwala
Friends of the Asian Elephant
Lampang/21st Feb., 2003
Champen and Ma-Nguaylow could finally sleep from the second night Ma-Nuaylow arrived. We have put them both on anti-infection, painkillers, etc.. The blood report of Ma-Nguaylow will come soon. My best thank you for the support and encouragement to me and FAE's staff.

Sat 22nd Feb., 2003
This morning I visited all 13 patients here.
I wish to give you the updates on each one as follows:
MOTALA has recovered well, she eats horse pellets as supplement. No bed sores since we built her special shelter with sleeping area made of sand with special cover sheet where she lies on. We change the sheet and sand every week. The sand is dried up in the sun.
TAHNEE has developed anemia and eyes infection. Supplements have been added to her daily diet. She is much better than last week.
AUAN has gained weight, probably because she is now more relaxed with many friends. Naturally, Auan seldoms makes friends with others. She also starred in my biography which shall be on air on CROSSINGS: Soraida Salwala on Discovery Channel Asia on 21st March, 2003.
PUNG EKHE is somehow more calm but is still scared of noise and strangers.
TANTHONG hurt her leg when AUAN moved near her. I noticed Tanthong has not been able to see with the right eye that she could see dimly before. This might cause some nervousness since she cannot see but she recognizes me when I am around and would reach her trunk out to touch my hand and makes a sound in her throat, a sign of pleasure. In her seventies she is ageing a lot this year.
CHAMPEN, 26 years old [arrived 22/1/2003] is also recovering. Some dead tissues and bones came off. She stands in the anti-infectant every morning and with Ma-Nguaylow near, she has sensed the same fate her friend has. She did not sleep the first night Ma-Nguaylow came but now she feels all right with the new friend.
MA-NGUAYLOW, 26 years old [arrived 17/2/2003 refuses to lie down on the special cover sheet on the sand we prepared her, so our vet nurse puts the surgical sock on her injured foot to cover it, then she lies down on the sand without dirtying her wounds. From other scars on her body and the nails, we presume she had stepped on some kind of mine before because the scars were like those from explosives.
KAO-HOM [arrived 4/12/2003] a five-year old female elephant from Phuket has gained weight but still nervous. All the bed sores are gone. She can return to Phuket by the end of this month.
JOKIA [arrived 16/1/2003] An expectant mother. She is 17 years old and we were told she has been pregnant for 23 months now. Dr. Preecha says it might be a month or so from now. We cannot really tell.
TOKI, 30 years old [arrived 16/1/2003]had abcess on her back, a real big one. Dr. Watcharin, our full time vet, performed the surgery two weeks ago. The dead tissues came off too. She also has wound behind her right ear, a severe wound.
SOMBOON, 35 years old [arrived 10/1/2003] a female with eyes infection and unclear lenses.
KAMLAIPETCH, 22 years old [arrived 10/1/2003] right eye infection.
KAM, 40 years old female. [arrived 12/2/2003] has injury on her right hind leg and swollen ankle, probably from the fall.
EKARAJ, 50 years old male returned home on 12/2/2003 after a month hospitalization. He had abcess on the left shoulder and severe sun burns on his entire back A rare and extraordinary case. We learned that EKARAJ was chained under the sun without any shade for a long time.
KAMMUEN, 45 years old bull also has returned home on 3/2/2003. He came for the treatment on 16/1/2003 He had infection in both of his tusks.

Bangkok/18th Feb., 2003
Dear Jody,
"The correct name of the new injured elephant on the I.D Card is MA-NGUAY-LOW. It's a KAREN name. The reception of mobile phones in the areas are not good so we heard different pronunciation."
MA-NGUAY-LOW arrived surprisingly early at 9.30 p.m. last night (17th Feb) at FAE's Elephant Hospital in Lampang. She lost 70 percent of her left foot, two nails gone, three nails on the left are still intact with 30 percent of sole but she could not put her weight on it. The whole leg is swollen. We shall try our best.
As for CHAMPEN, she is improving but with the new patient, MA-NGUAY-LOW, Champen did not sleep at all last night, neither did MA-NGUAY-LOW herself.
Best regards,
Friends of the Asian Elephant

MO-MAELOH--Another Landmine Victim
Bangkok Mon 17th Feb., 2003
"I feel sad that I rarely send you good news. Please help send plea to anti-landmine organizations to help stop this, FAE cannot save all of them. We do not wish to see more maimed elephants or other lives lost or injured. MO-MAELOH, a 26-year-old cow elephant stepped on the landmine across Thai border on the thirteenth February. We were informed yersterday at noon and asked the villager to help send the elephant to us ASAP. Mo-MAELOH is now on a truck heading to FAE's Elephant Hospital in Lampang (5.40 p.m. passing through the central district of TAK Province. She'll arrive around 1-2 a.m) The injuries are on her left front foot reported as severe as MOTALA's. I shall send more information tomorrow."
For the elephants,
Soraida Salwala
Friends of the Asian Elephant


About Landmines @ ClearLandmines.com


Champen Update 2/10/2003
Champen's wounds are drying up. Wounds in her mouth and on the trunk are almost healed. She eats normal now and moves around a lot which shows her energy and her strength. When our vet or vet nurse goes near, she will cry aloud in protest but will cooperate in their treating her. She's a charming 23-year-old. Yesterday we measured her injured foot to make a cast-like to put on Champen to help the wounds not to touch the floor when she moves. Dr. Preecha, the steel technician, & I had worked closely together for the past two days for this. Dr. Watcharin, our fulltime vet wil see to the adjustments of the cast daily.
Best regards, Soraida

Landmine Victim
"Champen is 23 year old cow. She arrived at FAE's Elephant Hospital at 1.00 a.m on Wed 22nd Jan., 2003. We were told that Champen was feeding herself somewhere when the mahout heard the explosion. He suddenly realized it was from Burma side and he could not cross there. That was on the 11th Jan. Four days later Champen came back by herself to the village[Baan kor tor/Maechan, Umpang, TAK Province]. Champen was severely injured. Her front left foot has been shredded like MOTALA's. We are trying to control the infection and later x-ray to see if there is any fracture since the mine has damaged her foot to 8 inches high up."
Soraida Salwala
Friends of the Asian Elephant


Plai Pooh-Pah

"Dear Friends: It is with my greatest sorrow and a great shock to me and everyone of us here at FAE. POOH-PAH, our baby elephant, whose health had been good all the past three years except a few minor ailments. I was informed of Pooh-Pah's sudden death on Saturday noon. The post mortem was done by Dr. Preecha in the afternoon. I have not received the official report yet but it seemed Pooh-Pah had an acute pneumonia. There has been rain showers and storm up there lately. I truly cannot utter a word and there would never be any adequate words to express how I feel for this great loss. PUNG AUAN, Pooh-Pah's mother is very sad. I shall go there to comfort her myself.
Sorry to bring to you this sad news. My grievances unbound."
Soraida Salwala
Friends of the Asian Elephant


Bathing Kammee

Pung Kammee was euthanized Monday July 8, 2002
Rest in Peace Kammee - Free at Last

My Dear Friends: Re: Pung Kammee
I am sad to announce the death of Pung Kammee,our sick elephant who suffered from drug addiction. Kammee came to our care since 1997. Her conditions improved but she had always been nervous and a few days ago she could not lie down. With stiff front legs and swelling of the abdomen, her liver failed to function. She collapsed at noon today (7th July, 2002). There was no chance so I decided to let her go in peace. Dr. Preecha performed the euthanasia. I do hope Kammee is up there somewhere playing, walking, running and be happy the way she never once was in this life. Thank you to all of you who have shared with me and FAE all these years. My heart is with Kammee and my other babies that FAE & I have to take care of. Please pray for us.
Soraida Salwala
Friends of the Asian Elephant (FAE)

Elephant Kahmee
Utusan Express, 9 July 2002
Thai vets perform mercy killing on drug-addict elephant
BANGKOK - Veterinarians have put to death an elephant that went blind and suffered years of painful side effects after being hooked on drugs by its owner, officials said Monday. The 56-year-old cow elephant, Khamee, made headlines in 1994 when vets at Lampang Elephant Hospital, in northern Thailand, found that it had been addicted to amphetamines. Its owner fed the synthetic stimulants to the animal to keep it awake at night so it could haul logs in an illegal lumber operation in a nearby jungle. The hospital bought Kahmee for 80,000 baht (US$1,900). The vets weaned it off drugs, but its medical condition deteriorated. No action was taken against the owner. Hospital director Preecha Phuangkham said it was put it out of its misery Sunday with injections of anaesthesia.
``Some people might object to this method but we think that allowing the animal to die peacefully is better than letting it live in torture,'' Preecha said. He said Khamee had been unable to stand, was easily frightened due to nerve damage and had stopped eating.
In recent years, the hospital, about 510 kilometres (320 miles) north of Bangkok, has carried out mercy killings on seven sick or injured elephants, Preecha said. Currently, eight elephants are being treated at the hospital, he said. Khamee was its first case of drug addiction.
Elephants have traditionally been used in Southeast Asian jungles for logging. Even after logging was banned in Thailand in 1989, many owners continued to cut trees clandestinely at night, forcing the animals to work by feeding them amphetamines.
Illegal logging has now been almost eradicated in Thailand. The elephants are now mostly used for transport in tourist spots and in entertainment shows. More than 2,500 elephants are registered as domestic animals in Thailand.


Bangkok, Thailand
09/02/2001 - (SA)
- A team of veterinarians is caring for an elephant maimed by a land mine, and will soon decide whether to amputate her leg, a hospital worker said on Thursday. The elephant's new-born calf, which was unharmed by the explosion, died after making the arduous journey to a hospital in Lampang province, more than 100 kilometres (60 miles) from the site of the accident, said Vikorn Maneechote of the Lampang Elephant Hospital in northern Thailand. The 29-year-old cow, Mohe, stepped on an anti-personnel mine on February 1 while she was hunting for food with her calf in a jungle outside a logging camp where she worked, Vikorn said. A Thai villager who owned the elephant had rented it out to work in the logging camp, just across the border in Myanmar. She had been let loose in the jungle by her keeper, or the mahout, to forage. Vikorn said Mohe's left front leg was shredded and shows signs of infection. The mahout walked the cow and the calf back to their owner's village in Thailand's Pob Phra district, a trip that took three hours. Pob Phra is 370 kilometres (230 miles) north of Bangkok. The next day, the elephants were trucked to the Elephant Hospital in Lampang, about 100 kilometres (60 miles) away. Vikorn said the baby elephant died in Lampang. He said the vets at the hospital would make a decision next week about amputating, after getting X-rays. Mohe is receiving antibiotics and painkillers and her foot is being cleaned daily. She is eating and drinking normally. Motala came from the same village as Mohe. Traditionally, many of the ethnic Karen people in Tak province keep elephants for family logging businesses. But concerned by the high rate of deforestation, the Thai government made logging without a license illegal. Many logging elephants are now taken to work in forests in Myanmar, near the rugged border. The area is littered with thousands of mines from the conflict between Myanmar rebels fighting for autonomy and the country's military government. - Sapa-AP



Pung Ekhe, elephant with broken leg

One of the elephants that lives in the ~Friends of the Asian Elephant’s~ (FAE’s) hospital at Lampang is PUNG EKHE. In contrast to the awful tale of KAMMEE (Pattaya Mail Vol 7, No. 43) this elephant has been rescued and rehabilitated and is looking forward to having a happy life under the protection of the FAE. But life was not always enjoyable for Pung Ekhe, this 40 year old cow elephant. Ten years ago, she was taken from her native Mae Hong Son, after being purchased by a Burmese monk. Pung Ekhe was a working elephant but was obtained very cheaply as she had a broken right hind leg. This did not stop the new owner, who rode her down to Kanchanaburi. Having made the trip, she was then forced to haul materials for the building of a new temple. Imagine the pain of working with a broken leg? They could have used her tears to mix the cement. Poor Pung Ekhe. But her suffering was not to end there. This new temple was being built on a hill and on one trek with building materials, the broken legged Pung Ekhe lost her balance and fell down the slope. Did they rush to her rescue? No! She was just an elephant who could not work well because she had a broken leg. They left her there, lying in pain and degradation. What a cruel way for a noble beast to die. Fortunately, some soldiers who were visiting the temple found her lying there and contacted the FAE. After negotiations, the owner allowed the FAE to take Pung Ekhe to their hospital. It took five hours to winch this injured elephant down the hill. Five hours of agony from her injuries. Not only from her broken leg, but also from the large open wounds on her right front foot and the left side of her abdomen.She survived the truck ride to hospital and following loving care and rehabilitation, she has turned into a very nice elephant. Pung Ekhe’s past has made her a stoic who can endure pain. Her ability to accept her suffering makes her life one of merit. Perhaps it is for this reason she is so popular with the other elephants in the hospital and she is one who will make contact with and befriend new arrivals at the FAE’s centre. Pung Ekhe can look forward to good days from now on.

Photo of Pung Ekhe from the book Elephant Hospital by Kathy Darling Photographs by Tara Darling Millbrook Press 2002


"We shall bury him tomorrow and plant a tree on his grave.
The tree will grow big to give shade for other elephants,
Bigger than TINY himself,
and I am sure he will be happy to be always remembered
as the branches of the tree reach out to the sky."
Soraida Salwala on the death of 1 year old elephant 'Tiny'
July 2004

The Eyes of Thailand
“U.S. documentary features the Friends of the Asian Elephant”
In 1993, Thailand boasted 40,000 Thai Asian Elephants. Fourteen years later, there were less than 2,600 left in captivity. In response to this staggering decline, a North American theatre company, known as “The Chiang Mai Project”, traveled to northern Thailand to raise international awareness about the rapid extinction of one of Thailand’s national icons. Once there, they learned that not only are the Thai Asian Elephants endangered, but the remaining elephants are overworked, abused, or disfigured from landmine injuries. Soraida Salwala, the passionate founder of the Friends of the Asian Elephant, continues to risk her life every day to treat and protect the elephants from further abuse at the first ever Elephant Hospital. Witnessing her tireless commitment, love and determination, the actors began to look at the world, their lives, and their craft from a new perspective.
Produced, Written and Directed by Windy Borman, with music provided by Singer/Songwriter Amie Penwell, D.V.A. Productions presents a documentary that asks you to question your ideas, believe art can change lives, and look at the world through “The Eyes of Thailand.”
View the film’s trailer at:

Motala@JodysJungle.com Link

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