Mosha the three-legged elephant gets a new prosthetic leg after stepping on a landmine

The Asian elephant was injured as a baby and brought to the Asian Elephant Hospital in Thailand

Rose Troup Buchanan
Friday 27 February 2015 11:07 GMT

A three-legged Asian elephant, injured after she stepped on a landmine, has been given a new leg.

Mosha, a nine-year-old female, was brought to the Friends of the Asian Elephant Hospital in Thailand when she was just seven-months old after stepping on a deadly landmine in 2007.

She became the first elephant in the world to receive a prosthetic limb after veterinarians feared she would not recover when she shunned food and the company of other elephants when she first arrived.

A chance meeting with Dr Therdchai Jivacate, who runs a clinic for human amputees, led him to create unique leg for her.

"When she cannot walk, she is going to die," he told the Daily Telegraph in 2009.

Mosha’s new limb was a great success, but her rapid growth - the average Asian elephant weighs 11,000 pounds - following its fitting meant that her careers had to quickly adapt the leg.

Now, she is being fitted with a new leg after outgrowing her old one.

The limb, made from plastic, sawdust and metal, has been specially engineered to cope with Mosha’s weight and allow her to move as freely as other elephants.

Her pioneering treatment at the Friends of the Asian Elephant Hospital, which treats elephants suffering from broken bones, infections and knife wounds, opened the way for further elephant prosthetics.

Since it opened in 1993 the hospital has treated 15 elephant landmine victims, with elephant Motala becoming the second prosthetic patient in 2009.

It is not just elephants who are affected by the deadly proliferation of landmines in Cambodia and along the Thai border.

Over 64,000 landmine casualties have been recorded in Cambodia since 1979.

According to the HALO foundation, a global organisation that works to remove these ordnances, the country still has the highest ratio of amputees – an estimated 25,000 – per capita in the world.

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