Meet the World's First Elephant with an Artificial Leg

Meet the World's First Elephant with an Artificial Leg

A decade ago, a 7 month old Asian elephant lost her right foreleg in a landmine accident. Two years after the incident, she received her a new artificial leg, the world’s first recipient of an elephant prosthesis.



At the time of her accident along the border between Myanmar and Thailand, Mosha weighed about 1,300 pounds.  The first was a 33-pound leg, made of thermoplastic, steel, and elastomer. Since then she has received multiple replacements, the latest being the ninth.



All thanks to the Friends of the Asian Elephant Foundation (FAE) hospital in northern Thailand. The organization is continuously designing and creating new molds to accommodate the growing elephant. And now, she tips the scales at around 4,400 pounds.



Over the years, Mosha’s increasing weight and size has put stress on the prosthetic leg. Though they run into numerous design and biomechanics problems along the way, orthopedic surgeon Therdchai Jivacate finds immense satisfaction in making a prosthetic leg for Mosha.



Mosha has company in Motola, who also walks with the aid of an artificial leg. Altogether seventeen elephants are being treated at the Thai elephant hospital, the world’s firs. And FAE has recently added a prosthesis factory to its facility. Visit their website to learn more and help in any way you can.
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