Mosha means ‘star’ in the Karen language and is the name of the world’s first elephant to have received a prosthetic leg after having lost a limb to a landmine on the Thai-Myanmar border.
When Mosha was only seven months old she was walking in the jungle with her mother, a logging elephant, when she stepped onto a landmine and lost part of her right front leg. Mosha was fortunate to be rushed to the Friends of the Asian Elephant, home to the world’s first elephant hospital, where her life was saved, and her wound treated.
Mosha was not the first and won’t be the last elephant, or man, to be injured by landmines. A worrying 16 of Thailand’s 77 provinces are still affected by landmines, and Friends of The Asian Elephant (FAE) Hospital has treated over a dozen such injuries over the years.
Dr. Therdchai Jivacate, an orthopaedic surgeon made Mosha her first prosthetic leg from plastic, sawdust and metal, which has the ability to support her weight (adult elephants weigh around 5 tonnes) as well as offer her mobility, much needed in an active and naughty young elephant!
As Mosha has grown, she has had to be fitted with a new prosthesis once or twice each year and now at 13 years old (July 2019) she is a healthy and vibrant young elephant with a long life ahead of her. She will need a new prosthesis every year until she stops growing at 20 years old.
Mosha is the inspiration for Elephant Parade and we have pledged to support her for the rest of her long and happy days.