Thai Elephant Gets New Prosthetic Leg

By Reuters 1 July 2016

LAMPANG, Thailand — Mosha the elephant, who stepped on a landmine along the Thai-Burma border 10 years ago, received her ninth prosthetic leg on Wednesday.

Mosha was just seven months old when the accident happened and she was rushed to an elephant hospital run by the Friends of the Asian Elephant Foundation in Lampang province in northern Thailand.

Two years later, surgeon Therdchai Jivacate gave her a new leg and a new life. As she has grown, he has designed new, longer and stronger legs for her.

“The way she walked was unbalanced and her spine was going to bend,” Therdchai, 72, said of Mosha before receiving her latest leg. “She would have died.”

Mosha, who weighed only 600 kg (1,300 lbs) when she was given her first artificial limb, now weighs over 2,000 kg.

Founded in 1993, the Friends of the Asian Elephant Foundation hospital was the world’s first elephant hospital and currently has 17 patients.

The Thai-Myanmar border is still dotted with landmines left over from clashes between ethnic-minority rebels and the Myanmar army dating back decades.