Soraida Salwala, founder of Friends of the Asian Elephant (FAE), is quoted in the Bangkok Post, speaking out against Thailand’s attempt to create trade goodwill with Japan by exporting 2 baby Thai Elephants to the Osaka Zoo.  Below is an excerpt from the September 13, 2009 article:

Soraida Salwala, founder of the Bangkok-based Friends of the Asian Elephant Foundation, urged the minister to scrap the planned jumbo export.

“The government should keep the elephants here, while Tokyo should stop asking for the jumbos,” said Ms Soraida.

In May 2009, Windy Borman, Producer/Director of The Eyes of Thailand, blogged about an article (“Thai government considers banning export of elephants“- May 13, 2009), which stated Thailand tabled a law that would ban exporting elephants from Thailand for 5 years, while it reconsidered how to protect its national icon.

The Osaka Zoo article goes on to state:

Elephants are one of 51 wild animals listed on Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, which bans the export and import of listed animals except for educational and conservation purposes. However, some imports and exports of protected wild animals have been conducted under government-to-government animal exchange programmes.

If the export goes through, it would be a major set-back to Soraida’s and other animal welfare groups’ goal of protecting the endangered Asian Elephants.

You can read the full article at: