First And Only Elephant Hospital In The World

Thailand is famous for its travel and holiday attractions, but only a few people know that it’s also the only place in the world that has an elephant hospital.

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Motala (age 50) lost her foot after stepping on a land mine many years back. She is currently on her third prosthetic leg, as they need to be changed according to the weight of the elephant.

In 1993, Soraida Salwala opened the World’s First Asian Elephant Hospital. Located in the Mae Yao National Reserve of Lampang, Friends of the Asian Elephant (FAE) is a 200-acre facility that includes elephant infirmaries, an operating area and a nursery for baby elephants. FAE’s Elephant Hospital is a non-government organisation funded through donations. They provide free care to the elephants at the hospital and provide accommodation for their mahouts (keepers) during the elephant’s stay.

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Daw Boon gets his intravenous fluids adjusted by a mahout to help treathis stomach virus.

When Soraida was a young girl, she and her father came across an elephant that had been hit by a car. She wanted to take “Uncle Elephant” to the hospital, but when her father informed her that there was no hospital for elephants, she was heartbroken. In 1993, Soraida pursued a lifelong dream of hers to create a hospital for elephants. The Friends of the Asian Elephant Hospital in Lampang is the first of its kind in the world.

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Boon Mee (age 11) suffers from a severe wound on his foot from steppingon a land mine near the Burma border. A mahout tries to disinfect his  wounded foot with some iodine.

To date, Soraida and her staff have treated nearly 4,000 Asian Elephants for everything from illnesses, knife wounds, gunshot wounds, car accidents, logging accidents and land mines. Since it opened, FAE has treated 15 elephant landmine victims. In 2008, Baby Mosha received the world’s first elephant prosthetic. Motala followed in 2009.

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Soraida Salwala, founder of the first elephant hospital in the world.



Most expensive cat wedding in the world held in Thailand – $88,000

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The groom came by Rolls-Royce, the bride in a helicopter. Hundreds of VIP guests attended to get a closer look at the starry-eyed couple: a pair of bewildered cats.

Any celebrity would have been proud of the sumptuous $28,000 wedding. After the ceremony, the clearly monogamy-loving cats, Phet and Ploy, were sent on a honeymoon river cruise – to be followed by visits to the vet.

You may be curious who played as the groom’s (Phet) best man. Luckily, a parrot agreed to act the part. As for the bride’s (Ploy) maid of honour, an iguana embodied the role eagerly. Having more than 500 guests, the cat couple garnered over $60,000 worth of cash and gifts.

Their owner, Vicharn Jarat-archa, staged the wedding because business started booming at his cosmetics company right after he found Phet along the Burmese border.

The male, part-Siamese cat had a “diamond eye,” which Thais regard as a lucky omen.

The condition is a type of glaucoma. A hard, blue coloured film that develops over the eye, leaving the cat blind, unless treated in its early stages.

Vicharn later returned to the same area and found Ploy, a female with the same eye condition, and began planning a love match because the two disease-stricken cats were obviously in love.

“We are not doing this for publicity, but to show that animals also have their rights, and that we love them,” Vicharn said.

And so he gave them the “right” to mate in hopes of increasing his luck with a litter of blind glaucoma kittens.

Animal activists protested, and urged Vicharn to have the cats treated rather than used for profit and publicity.

Vichard promised to have their eyes looked after and to donate wedding gifts to animal welfare charities, though it was not certain who would get the $60,000 dowry.

At the wedding, Phet, aged about 3, wore a custom made pink tuxedo with lacy cuffs while Ploy, aged 4, was attired in a matching pink satin wedding gown. Rings were made to fit their paws.



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