Friends of the Asian Elephant
Friends of the Asian Elephant is a registered non-government organisation in Thailand that aims to protect and conserve the welfare of elephants - both domesticated and wild. Founded in 1993 by Soraida Salwala, the organisation has successfully lobbied the Government to stop the illegal logging of Thailand's rainforest and have elephants taken off the streets in cities where they are in a completely unnatural environment and in danger of injury from vehicles. Many of these elephants have now been taken to the southern Thai province of Surin where they can once again live in more natural surroundings.
FAE aims to:
FAE's elephant hospital provides free medical care and transportation for all elephants. Some of the elephants brought to the hospital have been very poorly treated by their owners or have suffered horrendous injuries through incidents such as stepping on land mines. As part of their trip to Northern Thailand, many Intrepid Travel groups visit the Lampang Elephant Centre and can see first hand the great work of FAE at the hospital. The hospital is encouraging mahouts (elephant trainers) to bring their expecting elephants to the hospital to give birth. Mother elephants very often kill their newborn babies (especially. those that are domesticated). With a nursery there will be attached accommodation for the mahout so he can spend every moment with her. Donations made to the Friends of the Asian Elephant will help fund a nursery.
photo by Kat Cayley.