Soraida Salwala, the Founder for the Friends of the Asian Elephant (FAE) Hospital, sent the following email:

On Sunday morning (11th September, 2011)  Dr. Preecha called me to inform that a Sidor, a male [elephant] without tusk, stepped on a landmine in Burma.

I had to give out orders that every step of our rescue to be taken cautiously. The tide was high, rain was heavy and the elephant could not cross the river back. Somehow he could cross back later in the day but there was no truck available because it was Sunday. How unfortunate!

Why was our mission had not been told to the public? it is simple because there has been many cases in the past that the patients we were expecting did not turn up at FAE and we learned later that they were either not well taken care of or died.

So, our goal is to minimize the pains of this elephant as soon as possible and cure him.

This morning the truck went into the forest but was blocked by the trees that fell down from the rainstorm yesterday and it is still raining until now. So, our volunteers had to chop all those trees and reached the elephant. He got on the truck at 11.10 a.m. 12th September, 2011.

I was worried when I did not hear any report as to where they were and how far they had covered but of course it was near the border, there was no signal or low. By  mid afternoon we learned that the truck got block by the landslide on the mountain still in Tak Province, 4 hours !

The volunteer had to walk long distance to search for mobile signal to call our vet.

By 4.30 p.m. they could move. I was worried PaHaePo, the elephant, would be in great pain, so I asked Dr. Preecha to contact a livestock vet. The truck stopped at the Checkpoint so the vet could give him the painkiller and have him rest there for awhile.

6.35 p.m. the truck has started over 3 hours drive to FAE.

I have informed the Police Spokesman who has kindly asked for the plate number and  the patrol police will help clear the traffic on the highway.

Thanks to all involved.

Hope PaHaePo will arrive safely. The injuries, as I am told, are less severe than Boonmee and Maekapae, but we’ll see.

At the moment, there’s no electricity at FAE, it’s been raining there.

Soraida Salwala
Founder & Secretary General
Friends of the Asian Elephant

We will post updates and photos as they come in.


Windy Borman
Director/Producer, “The Eyes of Thailand