Pachyderm Prosthetics

After my last post, about injured animals outfitted with prosthetics, several people wrote me asking why I didn’t write about a famous pair of prosthetic-wearing elephants in Thailand. Unfortunately, I didn’t have room to cover these pachyderms in the Wired piece–space was extremely limited–but my correspondents are right: the animals do deserve more attention.

The elephants in question are Motala and Mosha–both lost their legs when they stepped on land mines. The animals were lucky enough to come into the care of Soraida Salwala, the founder of the Friends of the Asian Elephant Hospital in Lampang, Thailand. Though the recovery process was lengthy, both elephants are now tramping around on prosthetic legs, an amazing feat when you consider the weight that their artificial limbs must bear.

Of course, there’s much more to this remarkable story. Fortunately, Mosha and Motala have found an able chronicler, in the form of Windy Borman, who is making a documentary about the animals and the Friends of the Asian Elephant hospital. The film, called The Eyes of Thailand, is currently in post-production, and Borman hopes it will debut on the festival circuit next year. When the film’s premiere gets closer, I’ll be doing a Q&A with Borman–which will appear right here on this blog. So stay tuned. Until then, check out the trailer, below, and head on over to the film’s website to learn more.

“The Eyes of Thailand” trailer (2011) from Windy Borman on Vimeo

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5 Responses to Pachyderm Prosthetics

  1. Pingback: Animals with Prosthetics | Born Just Right

  2. Jody says:

    So glad you will be telling more about Soraida Salwala and Friends of the Asian Elephant Hospital. I know you will be fascinated and touched.

  3. Ruthie Cassidy says:

    I’m so excited that you are sharing with more people Soraida, Mosha & Motala’s stories at their Thailand hospital (the 1st one for elephants!) via Windy’s Wonderful film, detailing their journeys. This is just part of Soraida’s story (fraught with So many trials!) I Admire her So much. Cheers, Ruthie

  4. Donald Smith says:

    Interesting! Where would one find out about doctors that can put prosthetics on animals. There are a few(near six of them but two that are regular vistors) deer living around my house that have lost a leg in a neighbors cattle panel fence. I feel so bad for them and they suffer so stumbling around three legs. Any info about doctors that help animals like this would be appreciated.

  5. Emily Anthes says:

    Hi Donald,

    Well, most of these doctors tend to work locally, so you might want to consult a vet in your area for recommendations. Alternately, OrthoPets ( may be able to advise you.

    Good luck!