History & Mission
FAE’s story began when Soraida Salwala, at a mere age of eight years old, witnessed a tragic truck accident leaving an elephant injured with no care options. Soraida was horrified. She could no longer stand for this injustice and dreamed of a better future for these beautiful creatures. This dream eventually became a vision, leading Soraida to become founder of Friends of the Asian Elephant.
Now, in a region where the health and welfare of elephants is underserved, the Elephant Hospital is ready to treat and care for weak, sick, and injured elephants that would otherwise have nowhere to go, endure unnecessary suffering, or perhaps even die.
Joining Soraida is Dr. Preecha, the Chief Veterinarian at the Elephant hospital, who brings a lifetime of knowledge and elephant care expertise. Together, this compassionate team runs a foundation recognized for its unique ability to provide for any sick or injured elephant in Thailand. FAE aims to set a high precedent, pioneering new methods and technologies to heal sick or wounded elephants.
FAE strives to:
- Assist elephants and improve their living conditions, helping them adjust and survive within their natural surroundings
- Aid professionals, such as researchers and vets, related to elephants
- Gather data on elephants
- Publicize data and reports on the status of elephants and movements related thereto
- Undertake elephant-related public causes or to collaborate with other charity organizations
- Deal in no way with political affiliations
Aims for the Future
Our goal is simple: provide the needed care for elephants facing unfortunate circumstances. Ideally, we’d like to expand this goal through our Last Home Project initiative, a project dedicated to placing older elephants in more land where they can retire and live in peace.
The Last Home Project was discussed by Soraida and Dr. Preecha since FAE’s conception in 1993 when older elephants were donated to FAE because they could no longer handle the physical demands of logging. With the rise in tourism, older elephants are being sent to “elephant sanctuaries” or “elephant retirement parks” to extend their working lives. Organizations are also buying and renting crucial land (e.g., land with the right trees, grass, rivers, etc.) to support their working elephants. Given these demands (fewer elephants are donated and there is less land) the Last Home project faces a few hurdles now.
Despite these challenges, however, The Last Home Project still remains a goal for FAE. Currently, FAE continues to wait for the right opportunity to permit this goal become a reality.