Soriada Salwala’s love for elephant began early. When she was 8-years old, she saw an injured elephant lying helplessly on the side of the road. As her family drove past, they hear a gunshot. Her father explained, “Uncle Elephant is in heaven now”. “But if he was dying,” asked young Soraida, “why couldn’t he go to the hospital?” Flash forward several years and Soraida opened the World’s First Elephant Hospital to treat ill and injured elephants.

To date Soraida and her staff have treated over 3,500 Asian elephants for everything from eye infections, knife wounds, gunshot wounds and broken bones. However, their biggest challenge came in 1999 when an elephant landmine survivor, named Motala, arrived at FAE’s Elephant Hospital. Seven years later, a 7-month old calf named Mosha, arrived after she stepped on a landmine.

Soraida’s amazing 10-year journey to help these two elephant landmine survivors walk again on prostheses is chronicled in the award-winning, inspirational documentary, The Eyes of Thailand, narrated by Ashley Judd. The film is directed/produced by Windy Borman and produced by Tim VandeSteeg.

“The Eyes of Thailand” will have its East Coast Premiere at Flickers: Rhode Island International Film Festival on August 12, 2012 at 12:00pm. Coincidentally, August 12th is the inaugural World Elephant Day.

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