Posts Tagged ‘Animal Rights’

The Eyes of Thailand

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

— Ed Engoron, Co-Founder of Choclatique

Elephant ChocolateLast April I wrote about the introduction of Choclatique Elephant—Seriously Strong Chocolate (76%). Since we first introduced it, Elephant Chocolate has become one of our most popular choices for the serious dark chocolate lover.

Friends of the Asian Elephant (FAE) Elephant Hospital in Chiang Mai, ThailandOne of our biggest “fans” is Windy Borman who has produced an amazing film, The Eyes of Thailand. It is a full-length color documentary about Soraida Salwala, the founder of the Friends of the Asian Elephant (FAE) Elephant Hospital in Chiang Mai, Thailand. It chronicles her efforts to save sick and abused Asian elephants of the region. It is tragic to realize that Asian elephants are in serious danger of going extinct within our lifetime!

ElephantsNow that elephant logging is now illegal in Thailand, many owners look to the tourism industry for income to feed their families and their animals. There are now over 2,000 elephants working in tourist trade, as street beggars, or performing in elephant circus shows. While some tourists think it is fun and exciting to see an elephant up close, feed her bananas, or walk through the jungle on her back, the reality of their lives is much different.

Many of these elephants are overworked and suffer injuries from performances or car accidents, water poisoning from dirty city water and starvation. Others are causalities of landmines where their limbs are blow off. At Choclatique we have held several successful fund raisers to help Windy get her film completed, out for distribution and help save the elephants. The latest one was in mid-December.

Soraida Salwala with an Elephant patientBut unfortunately, December has been a month of ups and downs for the elephants of Chiang Mai—two pachyderm patients (Tahnee and Baby Namfon) died. At the same time Baby Mosha, a 3-year old Asian Elephant landmine survivor was fitted for a new prosthetic limb by the Prostheses Foundation at FAE’s Elephant Hospital. This is her fourth prosthesis since arriving at FAE in 2006. As you can imagine the costs of feeding over 20 elephants, providing medication and, of course changing out prosthetic limbs as often as buying baby a new pair of shoes is expensive.

You can help with a donation to The Eyes of Thailand through their fiscal sponsor, The San Francisco Film Society. You can make a donation in your name, or in honor of someone else, online by clicking here. The link will take you to the secure online donation page for The San Francisco Film Society.

Meet Baby Mosha

Baby MoshaMosha (which means Star in the Karin language) is a 3-year old Asian Elephant at the Friends of the Asian Elephant (FAE) Elephant Hospital.

When she was 7-months old, Mosha stepped on a landmine along the Thai-Burma border. Her owner donated her to FAE, where Soraida Salwala and her staff could rehabilitate and care for her.

This week the Prostheses Foundation visited Mosha and made a mold of her leg to create her fourth prosthesis. As a permanent resident of FAE, Mosha will continue to receive prosthetic limbs throughout her lifetime, which can be as long as 60-80 years.

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