In 1999 Motala, a female elephant, stepped on a landmine on the Thai-Myanmar border and lost her leg. The owners tried to save the leg after the accident but were unable to, as such they eventually had to amputate the leg and she was fitted with her first prosthetic leg shortly thereafter.
She was not able to successfully use the leg for walking until years later in 2006, but now she is getting her third and hopefully best prosthetic. The prosthetics have to be changed according the weight of the elephant, otherwise they will not work for her.
Motala though has learned to be able to use the prosthetic and leads a normal life for one of Thailand’s most beautiful and iconic animals.
Elephants in Thailand were once used as basically the heavy construction equipment with being able to move large objects, but since the introduction of gas powered engines and heavy equipment they have been slowly falling into disuse as practical draft animals and are used more and more in tourism related areas.
Koh Chang has her own elephant camps and one can see these beautiful animals here on the island if one wants to. Truth be told, they are beautiful animals.
Article taken from: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/01/elephant-new-prosthetic-leg_n_943645.html photos by: Paula Bionstein of Getty Images.