While most of the United States was busy marking the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, half a world away, an endangered Asian Elephant suffered a brutal reminder of the ongoing war raging in Burma (Myanmar).

San Francisco, CA – September 13, 2011 – On Sunday, September 11, 2011, the Friends of the Asian Elephant (FAE) Hospital, the World’s First Elephant Hospital, located in Lampang, Thailand, received word that PaHaePo, a Thai male elephant, stepped on a landmine across the border in Burma.

After being stranded by high tides and stuck behind fallen trees from heavy rains, PaHaePo arrived at FAE late at night on September 12, 2011. He joins four other elephant landmine victims being treated at FAE’s Elephant Hospital. All five sustained their injuries in August or September, when heavy rainfall encourages low-lying greenery to take over mountainous trails used for logging and transport between villages–and rebel camps. Burma is the only country actively using landmines in its on-going civil war and no one knows whether government or rebel forces planted the landmines.

Soraida Salwala estimates that over 90 elephants have stepped on landmines since she opened FAE in 1993. Many died before they could receive treatment, and FAE has treated 15, rehabilitating four to date. Motala and Mosha, who stepped on landmines in 1999 and 2006, respectively, are permanent residents at FAE and walk with the assistance of the world’s first elephant-sized prostheses. These amazing feats of perseverance and ingenuity are documented in the feature-length documentary, “The Eyes of Thailand” <>, Directed and Produced by Windy Borman and Produced by award-winning producer Tim VandeSteeg. “The Eyes of Thailand” is currently in the Post-production phase and scheduled to premiere in early 2012.

While filming “The Eyes of Thailand” in 2010, two new elephant landmine victims arrived at FAE. After 12 months, Boonmee’s foot is still not fully healed, but Maekapae’s has healed enough that her owner checked her out of the hospital the day after PaHaePo arrived.





Contact: Windy Borman |

Director & Producer, “The Eyes of Thailand”