Elephant Amputee Gets A Leg Up In The WorldMarch 10 2009 at 11:51 PM
|Jackie (Login BlueJudah)|
The world's first elephant fitted with a prosthetic leg is growing so fast that she has had a larger one made for her. Skip related content
Related photos / videos Elephant Amputee Gets A Leg Up In The World Mosha, now three, was only seven-months-old when she lost her right front leg after stepping on a landmine.
Close to death, she was rescued and brought to the Friends of the Asian Elephant hospital in Lampang, Thailand, where she got her first prosthetic leg in 2007.
Her home in a tropical jungle in the north of the country, near the Cambodian border, is an orphanage for elephants.
Her keeper said that before the first leg was fitted she was "depressed, self-conscious and wouldn't socialise".
But now the animal is getting more confident and likes to play with the other elephants.
Thousands of Thais have been injured and killed due to landmines, with a recent survey estimating there are about 100 new mine casualties each year.
But it is the elephants that are the new symbol of the fight against the banned weapons.
After Mosha's landmine incident, doctors had feared the worst for her until she had a chance meeting with Dr Therdchai Jivacate, who runs a foundation for human amputees.
His organisation has made prosthetic limbs for over 16,000 humans. But it had never fitted an elephant until Mosha's case.
Stumbling around on three limbs at the world's first elephant hospital, she refused to mix with other elephants and shunned food.
Her keeper Soraida Salwala said: "When Mosha first saw her artificial leg she was scared of it.
"But as soon as the doctors put it on and she felt she could put some weight on it she didn't want to let them take it off."
The prosthesis, made out of plastic, sawdust and metal, helps her keep her balance and is only removed when she sleeps.
"Mosha should live many long, happy elephant years," Ms Soraida added.
What a nice legacy though, eh? Sigh.....
- I'm glad - Marge on Mar 11, 2009, 8:25 AM
- Landmines - Mondo on Mar 11, 2009, 8:31 PM
- Gifts - Marge on Mar 12, 2009, 7:18 AM