Mosha, an Asian elephant, is the world’s first recipient of an elephant prosthetic. She lost her leg from a landmine explosion while walking near the Burmese border when she was just seven months old.
When Mosha was two and a half years old, she was spotted by Therdchai Jivacate, a Thai surgeon specialist in designing prosthetic legs for humans and other animals through the Friends of the Asian Elephant Foundation in Thailand.
Jivacate told Motherboard, “When I saw Mosha, I noticed that she had to keep raising her trunk into the air in order to walk properly.”
He decided to take on the challenge to help her regain her mobility. It was not an easy job; he faced design and biomechanics problems along the way, but Jivacate succeeded in making a 15-kilogram (33-pound) elephant prosthetic leg, made of thermoplastic, steel, and elastomer.
As Mosha grew very fast in the first year, she went through three prosthetic legs. In the last six years, Jivacate had to design nine prosthetic forelegs to cope with Mosha’s increasing weight and size.