An amputee elephant in Thailand's northern province of Lampang has received a new artificial leg to cope with its recent physical growth and weight. Jim Drury reports.
STORY: Mosha receives her latest prosthetic leg. It's the ninth she's worn since stepping on a landmine on the Thai-Myanmar border 10 years ago. This surgeon oversaw the operation. SOUNDBITE (Thai) PROSTHETIC SURGEON, PROFESSOR THERDCHAI JIBACATE SAYING: "The way she walked was unbalanced and her spine was going to bend. That means she would have hurt her cartilages badly and eventually stopped walking. And she would have died because of that.......She weighed 600 kilograms when she got her first new limb, but she's now 2,000 kilograms, so we needed to change the materials." Version nine is made of thermoplastic, steel, and elastomer. Mosha is one of 17 pachyderms currently at the Friends of the Asian Elephant Foundation hospital in northern Thailand. It was the world's first elephant hospital when it opened in 1993. 56-year-old Motala is another amputee being treated. She lost a limb after treading on a mine on the same border back in 1999 and has received numerous replacement prosthetics. The border is dotted with landmines left from clashes between rebels and the Myanmar army dating back decades.