Meet Mosha, the Elephant who Received a Prosthetic Leg after a Landmine Explosion

Mosha has been through nine prosthetic limbs already, and the man who made them is searching for better materials.

6. 21. 16 by Jelor Gallego
Asian Elephant Foundation
Image by Asian Elephant Foundation

Another reason to love technology is that it can be used to help animals that have missing limbs become mobile again. That was just what happened in the case of the elephant that needed a prosthetic leg.

Mosha, an Asian elephant, who’d lost her right foreleg from a landmine explosion, is the world’s first recipient of an elephant prosthesis.

Mosha, then two and a half years old, was spotted by Therdchai Jivacate, a surgeon who designs prosthetic legs for humans and other animals through the Friends of the Asian Elephant Foundation in Thailand.

“When I saw Mosha, I noticed that she had to keep raising her trunk into the air in order to walk properly,” Jivacate told Motherboard.

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He decided  to take on the challenge of making a prosthetic leg for Mosha. Despite design and biomechanics problems along the way, the doctor was able to make a 15 kg leg, made of thermoplastic, steel, and elastomer. In the past six years, Mosha has gone through nine prosthetic forelegs that can cope with her increasing weight and size. The doctor is still in the pursuit of a perfect prosthetic with materials that are more durable and resistant to wear.


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