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Pet Sins July 2009

Soraida Salwala, Founder of the World's First Elephant Hospital

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:

India and Thailand: Saving Jumbo (July 2005, Telegraph.co.uk)
New leg for wounded Thai elephant (Aug 2005, bbc.co.uk)