This is the story of Mosha, an Asian elephant who was just seven months old when she accidentally stepped on a landmine lying near the Thai-Burmese border. Rescued by a wildlife animal team, the baby elephant was immediately rushed and prepped for surgery. Local veterinarians were able to save Mosha’s life, but not her leg. It had to be amputated, leaving her with only 3 limbs.
The veterinarian team which operated on the elephant knew that Mosha would not be able to survive in the wild with just three legs, thus they brought her to the Asian Elephant Foundation. Mosha quickly adjusted to her new life in the sanctuary, with plenty of friends to boot.
However, Mosha still growing up, which caused sanctuary workers to begin worrying about her well-being. At least two-thirds of her weight rests on her left foreleg, plus it was starting to bend unnaturally due to the evident weight discrepancy.
Soon enough, Mosha turned two years old. Sanctuary staff decided to consult local orthopedic surgeon, Therdchai Jivacate, who is also an animal prosthetics maker. It took some time of trial and error before Therdchai was able to design and make a suitable prosthetic leg for Mosha – plus, it would have to withstand her growing weight.
When Therdchai first fitted the prosthetic limb on for Mosha, the then confused elephant tried to pull it off with her trunk. It took about a total of at least twelve hours for Mosha to learn how to walk properly with her new leg.
Mosha was still growing in both weight and size – she went from a weight of 1300 pounds then to over 4000 pounds today! Therdchai made new limbs for Mosha each time she outgrew them. 15 years passed, and Mosha has used more than 9 prosthetic legs in total! With some tweaking before each fitting, the prosthetic limbs Mosha uses today are much sturdier than they were at first.
Therdchai is extremely proud of his work and his bond with Mosha He remarks happily: “Animals don’t ask that we make legs for them, but we wanted to give Mosha one. I think she knows that I make her prosthetic legs as each time I come to the elephant hospital, she makes a little salute by raising her trunk in the air!”
Watch the video below!
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