Caption and video by @jungle_doctor // #adventureglobal How heartwarming is this story? ❤️🐘🥲
A day in the life of amputee Mosha at the world’s first hospital for elephants, the Friends of the Asian Elephant Foundation in Thailand.
Mosha was only 7 months old when she arrived at the FAE and had lost her front leg to a landmine on Thailand’s border with Myanmar. She was attempting to compensate without the use of her limb by raising her trunk and leaning on other structures for support, but it was obvious that this would become increasingly difficult as she grew.
When looking for a solution to Mosha’s problem, there were a few things that needed to be taken into account. Firstly, Asian elephants can live well beyond 40 years in the wild, and Mosha was just at the start of her young life. Additionally, while euthanasia for such an injury may be considered as an option in many places around the world, in Thailand where a large percentage of the population follows Buddhism, it is not so readily discussed or practiced.
So, with assistance from orthopaedic surgeon Doctor Jivacate, the team at the FAE decided to design and build a prosthetic leg to support Mosha throughout her life, with the first version of this leg weighing 15 kilograms and being made from a combination of plastic, sawdust and metal.
Since that time, Mosha has received no fewer than ten prosthetic legs, the design adjusted and improved each time to support her needs as she grows. Today the prosthesis has evolved into a more sophisticated version of the first – as you can see here! – and is now constructed from an individual mold using thermoplastic, steel and elastomer.