Elephant Getting Prosthetic Leg

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 15, 2009 11:29 AM CDT
Terdchai Cheevakate, right, an artificial leg expert, holds the model of the leg of Motola.   (AP Photo/Apichart Weerawong)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – A 48-year-old Thai elephant who stepped on a landmine 10 years ago got fitted for permanent artificial leg today, the AP reports. Motola, who's become a cause celebré for the plight of elephants worldwide, got measured for the new limb at an elephant hospital in Thailand. Until now she’s been walking on a temporary canvas leg.

"I do hope she will accept the new leg," said an official with an advocacy group. "It would be wonderful to see Motola and Baby Mosha walking together side-by-side." Mosha is a 3-year-old at the same hospital who became the first elephant to get a prosthetic leg 2 years ago. She stepped on a landmine while just 7 months old. Thailand's borders with Cambodia and Burma are rife with the unexploded mines. (Read more elephant stories.)