Thursday, September 22, 2011

Video of Pang Pornsawan's Recovery   contains great video clips of Pang Pornsawan's road to recovery.   Follow her recovery here and at the link

Abundant Blessings

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Pang Pornsawan Update - as of 19 September 2011

Pang Pornsawan Update
as of 19 September 2011

Pang Pornsawan, the beautiful elephant who stepped on a line mine on August 23d and has been in The Thai Elephant Conservation Center Hospital since the 31st of August is making great progress in her recovery.   According to Dr. Sittidet Mahasawangkul, Chief of Elephant Hospital, she is progressing better than expected.  There is new skin growing in the wounded area, months ahead of the original predictions.  Still, the prognosis is that she will remain in hospital for approximately one year.
Dr. Sittidet Mahasawangkul
This elephant is receiving two treatments a day.  They consist of sterilizing the wound, cleaning out the cavity created by the explosion, and trimming dead skin.  Although she receives pain killers, it’s obvious to even the casual observer that the treatments are painful.
Ready for Treatment
When I said goodbye to Pang Pornsawan on the 31st of August there was less tension in her mannerisms.  The shock seems to have worn off and now she is going through the treatments with her same gentile attitude.  In order to give her the treatments she has her bad leg strapped to a support, her other legs hobbled and someone holds her tail out of the doctor’s way.  She has to stay in this uncomfortable position for the time the treatment takes.  Her behavior is exemplary. Yes when the pain gets bad, she complains by verbalizing and trunk slapping.  Still, she is very gentle with the humans around her.  She hasn’t attempted to hit or kick anyone.

Treatment Time
In addition to the two treatments, she also receives an IV of anti-biotic medicine every morning.
IV is best way to fight infection
The team effort to care for Pang Pornsawan continues and will continue.  The TECC hospital is knowledgeable, professional and dedicated to the care of the elephants in their charge.  Pang Pornsawan seems to be a favorite.  Immediately on her arriveal, The Save Elephant Foundation  dispatched two mahouts to stay with and care for Pang Pornsawan.  The foundation also makes weekly visits.  The visits always include a truck load of food for her.

Arrangements have been made to ensure that after her hospitalization, Pang Pornsawan will be able to live out her life at the Elephant Nature Park.  This is a huge commitment!   I had thought about doing an art sale to raise money.   The plan is only slightly modified; ALL the money raised will go to help defray the expenses of Pang Pornsawan's hospital stay.   Can you get involved?  If so send me an email or give me a call.
Taste from Heaven will host the art event

This is the ad that I am placing in publications
Last for this post, here is a link to a video of Dr.  Sittidet explaining  PangPornsawan's situation.  It's in Thai with English Sub-titles.  Well done and well worth watching.

Abundant Blessings,

Sunday, September 4, 2011

SAVE THE DATE: Saturday 26 November 2011

Pang Pornsawan, 8/31/11

WHAT:  Art sale / auction is being organized.   ALL proceeds will be donated to the Save Elephant Foundation and earmarked for the medical care and rescue of Pang Pornsawan (The 18 year old female who recently stepped on a landmine).   Please be generous with your time, your art and perhaps your money as well. 

WHEN:   on Saturday 26 November 2011 there will be an art sale and I need YOU to make it a success!    

TIME:   Afternoon & Evening Exact Times to be announced.

WHERE:  Taste from Heaven Restaurant, 237-239 Thapae Road, A. Muang, Chiang Mai Thailand. Phone: +66 (0) 53-208803,

ARTIST DONATIONS NEEDED:  We are asking artists to donate one or more pieces of your art to this event.  Photographs, sketches, painting, carvings.  Art pieces are being collected at the Elephant Nature Park Office in Chiang Mai.  Please contact me for details.

DOOR PRIZE DONATIONS NEEDED:  This is a great way to advertise your business or organization. Please contact me for details.

THE EVENT will include: 
  • a.     Delicious Vegetarian Buffet & soft drinks of your choice
  • b.      Door Prizes Galore
  • c.       Artist Interaction
  • d.      Silent Auction of art pieces

TICKETS:  Advance tickets for only 500 baht go on sale soon.  They will be available at Taste from Heaven, and the Elephant Nature Park Office.

Friday, September 2, 2011

The Incompete Story of Pang Pornsawan & Her Friends

I title this the incomplete story for at least two reasons:  1st I don’t know the whole story and likely never will, 2nd thanks to several wonderful people Pang Pornsawan’s story is not over, not over by a long shot.  
Pang Porsawan has a snack

On 30 August 20011, The Elephant Nature Park received an urgent phone call from the Karen headman in a village known as Tavor.  It is in Amphur Tasongyang, Chanwat Tak, Thailand. (If you want to find it on a map, get a very large map and search the Thai / Burmese border in the Tak province). The headman was asking for help to save Pang Pornsawan.  This 18 year old female elephant had stepped on a land mine.  Sangduen “Lek”  Chailert, the founder of Save Elephant Foundation immediately dispatched the vet team and mobile clinic from the park.  It’s about an 8 hour drive from Chiang Mai.
Dr. Prasit & Mr. Song Muang 
At the village they found this young  elephant name, who may also be in the early stages of pregnancy,  standing shaking and her left rear leg.  It is horribly damaged from the landmine explosion . The bottom of the goot is gone! There are incredible rips and tears in the skin extending some  24 inches up to the leg. There is shrapnel, a lot of shrapnel imbedded in the wound.  The wound was filthy and was described as smelly and rotten.
Raw Wound
Mr. Song Muang Suriya with the elephant
Mr Song Muang Suriya , headman of the village reports that this female elephant belong to his nephew , who takes the elephant across to work in  the elephant logging in the deep jungle of  Burma.  Every day after finishing work, pulling the logs , the mahout will let the elephant walk around the jungle to eat in the forest, On 23 August about 3 pm, just a couple minutes  after mahout let her roam free, he heard a big explosion and the elephant roaring and screaming from the jungle. The mahout ran to Pang Pornsawan to fine her trying to stand and falling down from the shock of the her injury.  The mahout and his friends tried to stop the bleeding with herbs. They succeeded but the elephant lost a lot of blood.

The next day the mahout startied walking the elephant out from the jungle to the village to ask for help. From the deep jungle, with heavy rain and small mud trail, it took 3 days and 3 nights to reach the village .

Doctor Prasit Moleechart the vet from Elephant Nature park called for help from the vet  team from Elephant Hospital from Elephant Conservation Center.  Doctor  Sittidet Mahasawangkul chief vet and his team were sent to help and move Pang Ponsawan to the Hospital in Lampang to have emergency surgery .

Dr Sittidet
On the morning of the 31st Pang Ponsawan was loaded on the TECC hospital truck and transported to the hospital in Lampang. She is now undergoing treatment and I have every intention of keeping you posted. In the meantime here is a photo collection of her trip to Lampang
Getting on the truck

Swollen after the necessary long ride

Happy and good natured just walked off the truck

First Treatment

The wound has been cleaned, she has a long long way to go

Lek reports that "In the last couple years too many of  elephants and farm animals in the village  are died and injured from the land mine  three days ago the villager lost 2 cows and many injured from landmine explosive”. Mr Rin Sudsai , Tavor's villager said it’s not just the animals; “the villagers and the Karen refugee many time died and injured from the explosive when they walk to find the jungle food or wood for fire. It very [difficult] insure for safety in the jungle this day” .

“We have received 3 injured elephant from this year , the first is the bull elephant who not deep , wound and we used the herbal to treated him and he was survive , later he went back to work  logging again”  Mr. Song Muang said.  “The second elephant is female , but she too bad injured, she stay suffer only a couple days and died “ Song Muang also said he doesn’t want this one to die so he decided to call the vet to help.

“Many elephant when they injured from landmine in the jungle , it too difficult to help and rescue them many of them died in the jungle which is tragedy “ Lek said.

Today in Thailand and along Burma border it more than 300 domestic  elephants that  work at risk of being killed or maimed by landmines. After Thailand banned logging in 1989. Many Karen took their elephants to work illegally in Burma.  Patee Tanu, one of the Karen elephant owners said “We have no choice, if we didn’t go to work then we have no income, then we have to take the risk”

My thanks to Sangduen “Lek” Chailert for allowing me to use her material to write this article.