The prosthetic leg factory, just for elephants, will soon be operating at Friends of the Asian Elephant hospital in Thailand. This is a unique and wonderful facility that can make and repair custom-fit artificial limbs for elephants who need them.
Why do elephants need replacement legs? For the same reason people do. Something horrible has happened to these elephants and one of their legs was damaged so badly that it needed to be amputated. The most common situation is that a working elephant accidentally steps on a hidden land mine from some long forgotten conflict in Southeast Asia. In seconds, massive amounts of flesh are shredded, leaving the poor, unsuspecting elephant to limp back to its camp.
An elephant with half a leg can barely walk, much less work. The most dire option is to mercifully euthanize the elephant. Nobody wants that option if there is any hope whatsoever. Today, there is.
Friends of the Asian Elephant is dedicated to treating sick and injured elephants in the Thailand – Burma area. They have worked with leading prosthetics doctors to develop an artificial leg that can take the weight of a walking elephant, yet cause no pain or further damage.
The legs work beautifully. Two pioneering patients, Mosha and Motala, have proven that elephants nearly killed from exploding land mines can recover and lead relatively normal elephant lives. The only problem remaining is that the legs need frequent repairs from the enormous stresses of movement. Growing younger elephants, like Mosha, need new legs the way we need new and larger pairs of shoes as we grow up. Often this means long waits for equipment and expertise to arrive at the hospital.
This is what the new elephant prosthetic leg “factory” will fix. A building has been constructed on-site and tools and equipment ordered. Everything is being installed right now. Within the next month, they hope to start working on the first elephant leg repairs and replacements.
Does this sound like a worthy effort that you would like to help finish? Your support is needed right now to pay for all of the construction, specialized equipment, tools, and supplies that are needed to make new elephant “legs.” We’ve raised over half the amount required, and now must make a final push to collect the money needed to pay the bills and ensure that when elephants need legs, everything will be there to make or repair them.
Please consider making a donation right now, while you are thinking of it. Any amount from $10 on up will be greatly appreciated. Our CrowdRise fundraiser can take credit card payments worldwide.