Mosha Outfitted with Prosthetic Leg

As long as we're on the subject, this Asian elephant, Mosha, was outfitted with a prosthetic leg after losing hers to a landmine on the Thai-Burmese border at the tender age of seven months old. She was taken in by the Friends of the Asian Elephant hospital in Lampang, Thailand and in 2007, became the first elephant ever to receive a prosthetic leg.

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We can rebuild her...

Sweet Mosha video below the fold...

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Nothing makes me happier than happily walking animals, but....did she really need the prosthetic? She seems alright (if gangly) on 3 legs and certainly isn't the first 3 legged animal. Curious since I don't know about elephant anatomy and assume it involves their weight. (Like we do we have lots of happy 3 legged dogs, but put down lame horses?)

Actually, I think this is probably really helping her out. Elephants don't stand like other mammals (people, dogs, apes, etc) who stand with their legs slightly bent and their weight suspended by their bones but balanced by their flexed muscles--elephants stand more like tables. Their legs lock and so the weight is evenly distributed--I guess because otherwise their muscles would always be worn out from supporting so much weight. If Mosha gets the hang of letting her weight rest on her prosthetic leg instead of leaning and putting all that stress on one leg, it will probably prevent joint damage as she gets older.

Also--Yay cyberphant!

Actually, I was at an elephant orphanage near Kandy, Sri Lanka back in 2002, and there was a three-legged elephant who had received a similar leg, but who wasn't into it.

In order to get the leg on the elephant, they had to sedate it. It would then wake up, and spend all its time kicking the leg off. I think they tried three times and then gave up. Hmmn... maybe they shipped the leg to Thailand. ;)

Elephant seemed to get by fairly well without it. Her back was all wonkily shaped because of the way she walked, but she'd tried it, and didn't like it. Who are we to say she needs it? Nice thought though.

Yes, Mosha seems to get around all right...walking on a flat surface in circles! But if she were walking on an uneven surface, or mating, she definitely needs four strong legs underneath her. As long as human amputees in Thailand are getting the prosthetics they need, why should Mosha be denied?

By Turkish Delight (not verified) on 11 Mar 2009 #permalink

Dirty cyberphant sympathizer... are you banking on a high position in the new eleborg slave regime?

Well they aren't exactly forcing her to use it--she seemed hesitant at first but seems to be quite taken with it now. The elephant at your retreat didn't care for it, gets around fine without one, and that's that. Their personalities are very different, and just as with people, what works for one doesn't work for all. No one's forcing their fascist regime of Quadrapedist Beliefs on Mosha. . .she probably took to it because she was young and hadn't gotten used to getting about on three legs.