Elephant That Lost Its Leg From A Landmine Learns To Walk Again With A Prosthetic

Elephants have been victims of poachers for years. In fact, around 20,000 elephants are killed each year for their ivory tusks. As if that weren’t enough, elephants in Cambodia and Laos are being killed by the landmines that remain from the local wars.

But death isn’t the only thing that can happen when an elephant encounters a landmine. The elephant in the video below is a suspected victim of a landmine. But rather than losing her life, she lost her leg.

This lucky elephant not only walked away with her life, but she’s now learning to walk again! A kind local fitted her with a prosthetic and now she has a chance at living a somewhat normal life, despite the accident.

Elephant That Lost Its Leg From A Landmine Learns To Walk Again With A Prosthetic

Unfortunately, this isn’t an isolated case of an elephant being injured or killed by a landmine. It happens every year, and locals work hard to care for the elephants that fall victim to such tragedy.

The video, shared on Reddit by u/QyMbEr, has several comments that offer a bit of backstory about the situation.

As one person shared, “In Cambodia/ Thailand/ Vietnam, Villages and small towns do whatever possible to save these amazing creatures. And there are reputable sanctuaries devoted to exactly this and retiring work Elephants.”

“Apparently they are learning to avoid mine fields. Scientists observed herds going around them. It’s believed that the elephants recognize the characteristic smell of the mines’s components,” another person explained.

A third commentator agreed, saying:

“There’s been evidence building to support this. Apparently double the capacity of dogs and over a much greater distance, they could smell from over half a mile away. the goal is to emulate the mechanism and try to automate it. Rats are probably best in the field at this point, since they’re smart, sensitive and light enough to traverse them without danger of triggering any, but they still need to zone off these fields and have handlers bring them in close. there could be efficient, early detection and safe sweeping.”

Elephant That Lost Its Leg From A Landmine Learns To Walk Again With A Prosthetic


According to DailyMail, there’s concrete evidence to support using elephants to safely locate landmines. They shared, “The findings showed that elephants are almost 5% more likely than dogs – the currently favored animal for landmine detection – to indicate the presence of TNT when, in fact, there is none. But dogs are almost 6% more likely to miss TNT than elephants are.” Of course, it’s better to think there’s TNT when there’s not as opposed to the opposite – which could have deadly consequences. As such, elephants may actually be better equipped than dogs for this task.

Though the elephant in the video was clearly not equipped to detect landmines, elephants as a whole are slowly developing the ability to detect such dangers. And despite her misfortune, this elephant seems to be living the best life she possibly can.

Watch her learn to walk with her new prosthetic in the video below:

new leg from r/aww

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