Sunday, April 09, 2017

Elephant foundation in critical need of aid

The Friends of the Asian Elephant (FAE) says it may have to close if it does not receive financial support soon.

Secretary ­general Soraida Salwala said the FAE is a Thai ­registered foundation that has looked after the welfare of more than 4,600 elephants in Thailand for more than two decades. It is now facing its worst financial crunch in its history.

It is best known for producing an artificial leg for the wounded elephant Motala (above) in 2006, but it has helped countless elephants before and since.

"We need financial support from both the government and the private sector to survive," said Ms Soraida, who is also the founder.

She said the foundation, set up in 1993, has encountered financial problems for more than 11 years due to falling donations.

However, she said she has put in considerable effort to maintain a normal situation until she realised she had to reveal the truth about the foundation's financial difficulties to the public.

"We don't want to create any burden as people are suffering during the economic slowdown.
"But we need help, or we will have to close.''

Ms Soraida said she had earlier asked the government for assistance in setting up an elephant fund to support any foundation that is working with and helping elephants. Up until now, she has not yet heard any response, she added.

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