Founder, Friends of the Asian Elephant (FAE) Elephant Hospital
When she was 8-years old, Soraida Salwala saw an injured elephant lying on the side of the road because a truck hit it. As her family drove past, they heard a gunshot. Soraida asked her father what happened and he said "Uncle Elephant is in heaven now". She asked, "If the elephant was hurt, why couldn’t he go the hospital?" Not getting an answer she liked, in 1993 Soraida opened the world’s first Asian Elephant Hospital, operated by the Friends of the Asian Elephant (FAE)
. To date, she and her staff have treated nearly 4,000 elephants for everything from eye infections and difficult pregnancies to knife wounds, gunshot wounds, broken bones, car accidents and landmine accidents.
For up-to-the-minute updates, follow Soraida on Twitter
50-Year Old, landmine Survivor
Motala is a 50-year old landmine survivor. In 1999, Motala stepped on a landmine while she and her mahout were logging along the Thailand-Myanmar border. Although her front leg was seriously injured, she walked for three days to arrive at FAE’s Elephant Hospital. When she arrived, tears were streaming down Motala’s cheeks and Soraida Salwala says there was not a dry eye at the hospital. News of her injury drew international attention and raised enough donations for Soraida and FAE to develop a strategy on how to treat elephant landmine victims. After 10 years of surgery and rehabilitation, Motala received her first prosthetic limb built by the Prostheses Foundation
You can join Motala on Facebook here
6-Year Old, landmine Survivor
Mosha, which means "star" in the Karin language, is a 6-year old Asian Elephant at the Friends of the Asian Elephant (FAE) Elephant Hospital
When she was 7-months old, Mosha stepped on a landmine along the Thailand-Myanmar border. When we first met Mosha in 2007, she was a curious 2-year old, who wobbled on three legs. When we returned to FAE in August 2009, Producer/Director Windy Borman filmed Mosha receiving a prosthetic limb from the Prostheses Foundation
. As a permanent resident of FAE, Mosha will continue to receive prosthetic limbs throughout her lifetime, which can be as long as 60-80 years.
Curious what a baby elephant will say on Facebook? Join Mosha