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article imageBlast shreds foot of Thai elephant, 13th land mine victim

By Kim I. Hartman     Aug 6, 2010 in World
Bangkok - Mae Ka Pae has become the 13th mine casualty to be treated in northern Thailand. A week ago a mine exploded shredding her left rear foot. Thai Veterinarian's have been successful in making prosthetic legs for elephant victims of abandoned land mines.
Veterinarians are treating the latest land mine victim from the Thai-Myanmar border Thursday, a 22-year-old female elephant. The elephant foot was partially blown off when a landmine exploded as she worked in the jungles of Thailand.
Mae Ka Pae is now under the care of Friends of the Asian Elephant hospital near this city in northern Thailand. The elephant hospital has been operating since 1993 and have been successful in making and attaching artificial limbs for elephants wounded by the deadly mines that are spread across the country. She arrived at the facility Wednesday evening, a week after the accident, with a left rear foot that was shredded by an explosion.
"We have to monitor her condition for 48 hours now that we cleaned the wound and injected pain killers. We will give her a tetanus shot later today. Overall, she is a good condition. She is obedient and can eat normally," said Dr. Preecha Phuangkam, a veterinarian and the hospital director.
The elephant was injured at the frontier, which is strewn with land mines from fighting between the Myanmar government and ethnic minority rebels. Preecha said her handlers might have let her wander to the less-developed Myanmar side of the border to find food reports NPR.
Mae Ka Pae will join other recovering elephants at the hospital including Motala and Mosha. In 2007 Mosha became the world's first elephant with an artificial leg. Both elephants have had success with a special-made prosthesis.
Elephants in Thailand have been replaced by modernization. The tourism industry still operates many cross country treks on the backs of the captive elephants.A few elephants are still forced to work in the logging industry along the Myanmar border in illegal logging operations. All of these animals are in danger of loosing a leg at any moment in time, said hospital officials, and many do not survive the injuries from this horrific ordeal.
Motola is one of a few elephants who are able to walk after dedicated Thai Veterinarians successful ...
Motola is one of a few elephants who are able to walk after dedicated Thai Veterinarians successful designed and attached artificial limbs.
Friends of the Asian Elephant
More about Elephant, Thailand, Landmine, Animal cruelty, Thai elephant becomes landmine
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