Best foot forward: Thai elephant gets her ninth prosthetic leg

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Mosha the elephant gets her new leg

LAMPANG, Thailand (Reuters) - Mosha the elephant, who stepped on a landmine along the Thai-Myanmar border 10 years ago, received her ninth prosthetic leg on Wednesday.

Mosha was just seven months old when the accident happened and she was rushed to an elephant hospital run by the Friends of the Asian Elephant Foundation in Lampang province in northern Thailand.

Two years later, surgeon Therdchai Jivacate gave her a new leg and a new life. As she has grown, he has designed new, longer and stronger legs for her.

"The way she walked was unbalanced and her spine was going to bend," Therdchai, 72, said of Mosha before receiving her latest leg. "She would have died."

See more photos of Mosha:

16 PHOTOS
Mosha the elephant with a prosthetic leg
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Mosha the elephant with a prosthetic leg
Mosha, the elephant that was injured by a landmine, has her prosthetic leg attached at the Friends of the Asian Elephant Foundation in Lampang, Thailand, June 29, 2016. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha 
Motola (R), and Mosha, the elephants that were injured by landmines, stand at the Friends of the Asian Elephant Foundation in Lampang, Thailand, June 29, 2016. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha 
Mosha, the elephant that was injured by a landmine, has her prosthetic leg attached at the Friends of the Asian Elephant Foundation in Lampang, Thailand, June 29, 2016. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha 
Motola, the elephant that was injured by a landmine, is seen at the Friends of the Asian Elephant Foundation in Lampang, Thailand, June 29, 2016. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha 
Doctor Therdchai Jivacate (L) stands in front of Mosha, the elephant that was injured by a landmine, at the Friends of the Asian Elephant Foundation in Lampang, Thailand, June 29, 2016. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha
Motola, the elephant that was injured by a landmine, wears her prosthetic leg at the Friends of the Asian Elephant Foundation in Lampang, Thailand, June 29, 2016. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha 
Engineer Boonyu Thippaya (C) and a member of his team adjust a prosthetic leg for an elephant, that was injured by a landmine, at the Friends of the Asian Elephant Foundation in Lampang, Thailand, June 29, 2016. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha SEARCH "MOSHA" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "THE WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
Prosthetic legs for elephants that were injured by a landmine, are seen on a table at the Friends of the Asian Elephant Foundation in Lampang, Thailand, June 29, 2016. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha 
Motola, the elephant that was injured by a landmine, has her prosthetic leg attached at the Friends of the Asian Elephant Foundation in Lampang, Thailand, June 29, 2016. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha 
Engineer Boonyu Thippaya (L) and a member of his team adjust a prosthetic leg for an elephant, that was injured by a landmine, at the Friends of the Asian Elephant Foundation in Lampang, Thailand, June 29, 2016. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha 
Engineer Boonyu Thippaya (L) and a member of his team adjust a prosthetic leg for an elephant, that was injured by a landmine, at the Friends of the Asian Elephant Foundation in Lampang, Thailand, June 29, 2016. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha 
Motola, the elephant that was injured by a landmine, is prepared to have her prosthetic leg attached at the Friends of the Asian Elephant Foundation in Lampang, Thailand, June 29, 2016. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha 
Motola, the elephant that was injured by a landmine, wears her prosthetic leg at the Friends of the Asian Elephant Foundation in Lampang, Thailand, June 29, 2016. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha 
A figurine of Mosha, the elephant that was injured by a landmine, is seen at the Asian Elephant Foundation in Lampang, Thailand, June 29, 2016. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha 
Engineer Boonyu Thippaya adjusts a prosthetic leg for an elephant, that was injured by a landmine, at the Friends of the Asian Elephant Foundation in Lampang, Thailand, June 29, 2016. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha 
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Mosha, who weighed only 600 kg when she was given her first artificial limb, now weighs over 2,000 kg.

Founded in 1993, the Friends of the Asian Elephant Foundation hospital was the world's first elephant hospital and currently has 17 patients.

The Thai-Myanmar border is still dotted with landmines left over from clashes between ethnic-minority rebels and the Myanmar army dating back decades.

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