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A new lease on life for one elephant in Thailand. The gentle giant fell victim to a landmine blast is now out and about after being fitted with an artificial leg.
Thai doctors add the finishing touches to a new front left prosthetic elephant leg on Sunday, 10 years after she lost her limb by stepping onto a landmine.
It has been 10 years since Motala lost her leg while working at a logging camp on the Thai-Burmese border. She is now able to walk on all-fours again, thanks to the Prosthesis Foundations efforts to create a limb just for her.
Hundreds of elephants employed in the logging industry along the Thai-Burmese border risk injury from landmines... laid out by Burmese troops fighting ethnic rebels.
Doctors at the Friends of the Asian Elephant's Hospital in Lampang Province have cared for Motala since she was injured in 1999. They spent an entire day creating the pattern and making measurements to ensure the limb would fit perfectly.
It took the elephant around ten minutes to take her first step, and when that was done, it took an hour to complete a 100 foot track.
[Therdchai Jivacate, Prostheses Foundation Doctor]:
"Motala is an adult elephant. The joint between her leg and artificial limb might get bigger or reduce when she gains or loses weight, so we might need to adjust the prosthesis again."
Doctors say it might take time for Motala to get used to the prosthesis, but they are encouraged by how she did not reject it.