The Eyes of Thailand

The Eyes of Thailand

The Eyes of Thailand is a documentary that seeks to bring the Asian elephant conservation efforts to the forefront of the international community. The documentary, which is in post production, hopes to motivate the international community to push for protection laws in Thailand that mirror the works of Soraida Salwala and her organization Friends of the Asian Elephant (FAE) .

Soraida Salwala founded the first Asian elephant hospital in Lampang, Thailand. The hospital has treated over 2000 elephants since it’s opening in 1993 and the treatments have included everything from eye infections to land mine accidents. The hospital was in the news recently when it fitted an Asian elephant named Motola with a new prosthetic leg. The 48 year old elephant lost most of it’s left front leg ten years ago to a landmine while working at a logging camp along the Myanmar-Thailand border.

Since the 1950′s Thailand’s domesticated elephant population has dropped from just over 13,000 to today where it stands at 2, 500. The wild elephant population in Thailand has seen it’s numbers decline just as dramatically. Recently the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration set up the Chang Yim ( Smiling Elephant ) project to begin buying and removing these gentle beasts from Bangkok streets and from Mahouts that often neglect and abuse them. These elephants  will end up at the National Elephant Institute in Lampang where they will live out the rest of their days in peaceful surroundings.

The Eyes of Thailand documentary will take the viewer inside the daily workings of the elephant hospital and show you the plight of these injured and neglected animals as well as the people such as Soraida Salwala who have made it their life’s work to treat and protect these beautiful animals. D.V.A. Productions, the makers of this film, have been working along side Soraida Salwala to bring the plight of the Asian elephant to the world through this documentary and through The Eyes of Thailand Updates a weekly blog  by Soraida  on the FAE’s progress.

Currently D.V.A. Productions is seeking donations to complete post production on the film and distribute it to film festivals, television and educational markets.

I think this is a very worthwhile project to donate to. With more exposure  projects like Bangkok’s Chang Yim and Soraida Salwala’s Friends of the Asian Elephant (FAE) will see donations rise and the ultimate winner in all of this is the Asian elephant.

For more information on how you can become involved please visit their website The Eyes of Thailand.

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3 Comment(s)

  1. Talen I know this is a topic that is very close to your heart and one that you put a lot of effort into and I still can’t forget the young elephant that was trapped down the manhole in your Chang Yim post. I checked out part of the bottom link video and the lady is doing some excellent work and I was surprised to see that ‘anti’s’ tried to burn down her wonderful medical centre. I also visited the blog and read about Motala and young Namfon, a close relationship is developing there, that’s good to see.

    I have been guilty in the past of feeding the wandering elephants and effectively encouraging their mahouts to continue their way into other cities and towns but I just find the elephants so adorable. I must try and stop that.

    Looking back over my comment…’I checked out part of the bottom link video’…I best explain that part bit by saying that I rarely click on the visible video links such as YouTube because as much as I’d like to they well eat into my monthly internet fixed usage. Excellent post and a very worthy one.
    .-= Martyn´s last blog ..The Thai Two Finger Salute =-.

    Martyn | Sep 12, 2009 | Reply

  2. Martyn,
    I’ve been guilty of feeding the elephants as well that’s why I like to give time to the various elephant charities.

    I couldn’t believe they were being harassed either…it seems some of the harassment is coming from other people trying to take the elephants away.

    I wish they would get a charity account up somewhere That I could get a donate button for to make it easier for them to get donations. I could put one up on my own but I wouldn’t want people to think I might be doing something fishy with the money.

    Talen | Sep 12, 2009 | Reply

  3. Talen I’m sure someone of your standing with your obvious love of the elephants would be far from described as fishy but I do understand where you are coming from. Sometimes you’ve just gotta bite the bullet and walk away.
    .-= Martyn´s last blog ..The Thai Two Finger Salute =-.

    Martyn | Sep 12, 2009 | Reply

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