More than a dozen elephants have been injured during the Myanmar civil war.
When we consider the far-reaching impacts of war, we often fail to consider how it affects the animal population. As the decades-long war between rebels and the Myanmar government on the Thailand border rages on, an animal hospital has come to the aid of elephants injured in the conflict. Most notably, the Friends of the Asian Elephant Foundation hospital located in northern Thailand has been helping those injured by land mines.
Last week, the hospital fitted Mosha, an 10-year-old elephant with her ninth artificial limb. She was injured after stepping on a land mine at the young age of seven months. When she was first injured she weighed 1300 pounds, now as a full-size adult she’s over 4,000. So the hospital has routinely upgraded her prosthetic limb to accommodate her growth.
Moshas’ recent prosthetic upgrade didn’t just help her walk, she couldn’t live without it. “The way she walked was unbalanced, and her spine was going to bend,” Dr. Therdchai Jivacate, an orthopedist who helped design the prosthetic told Reuters. “That means she would have hurt her cartilage badly and eventually stopped walking. And she would have died because of that.” Mosha is one of 17 pachyderm patients being helped at the hospital which has treated over 4200 sick and injured elephants since its 1993 opening.
Learn more about the Friends of the Asian Elephant Foundation on Facebook.