Soraida Salwala founded Friends of the Asian Elephant in 1993. Her strong wish to alleviate the suffering of elephants stemmed from a childhood incident in which she and her father came across an elephant that had been hit by a car. When Soraida asked her father to take 'Uncle Elephant' to the hospital, she was informed that there was no hospital for elephants. Young Soraida heard a gunshot as she left the scene - faced with no other option, the elephant mahout had chosen to kill his suffering beast.
The tragedy made young Soraida see the need for an elephant hospital, a vision she maintaned over the years. In 1994, Miss Salwala realized her lifelong dream of creating a hospital for elephants and and opened the world's first elephant hospital in Lampung, Thailand.
Salwala's work is featured in the Animal Planet Safari Specal: Elephant Rescue.
Soraida Salwala and FAE in the news: