Thai Elephant Gets New Prosthetic Leg, Joyfully Throws Dirt
NOTE: Original article is from August 19, 2009, but story is updated in the linked photo gallery at the end of the text.
We knew the day of Robo Dumbo would come, we just didn't know it would come so soon. Actually, we couldn't be happier for Motola. After losing her foot to a landmine a decade ago while working in a Thai logging camp, the 48-year-old elephant has been fitted with a special prosthesis. Reports this week say she took a stroll, tossed some dust with her trunk, and is doing great.
The Associated Press quotes Soraida Salwala, secretary general of the Friends of the Asian Elephant, saying: "It has gone very well—she has walked around twice. She has not put her whole weight on it yet but she's OK."
After a number of years without a front left foot, Motola was given a temporary prosthetic meant to strengthen and prepare her for the permanent device she received last week. The injury happened while working in a Thai logging camp near the Burmese (Myanmar) border. She stepped on one of the many landmines that remain from violent conflicts in the area. The initial amputation, which took place shortly thereafter, required such large quantities of anesthetic drugs that is was recorded in the 2000 Guinness Book of World Records.
A good photo chronology of Motola can be found here.