Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education



Front Page

World

UK

UK Politics

Business

Sci/Tech

Health

Education

Sport

Entertainment

Talking Point

In Depth

On Air

Archive
Feedback
Low Graphics
Help

Thursday, October 7, 1999 Published at 14:13 GMT 15:13 UK


World: Asia-Pacific

Landmine elephant's steps to recovery

Motala enjoys her first steps in two months

Motala, the Thai elephant injured when she trod on a landmine in August, has been taking her first unaided steps as her recovery from surgery continues.

The Friends of the Asian Elephant Foundation said the three-tonne pachyderm took her first steps on Tuesday at the hospital where she is being treated in northern Lampang province.


[ image: Surgeons had to borrow a crane to support Motala during her treatment]
Surgeons had to borrow a crane to support Motala during her treatment
Vets accompanying her say she seemed to enjoy her regained mobility, taking time to lie on the open ground - a change from the cold cement floor she has been on for the last five weeks.

"It took a long time for Motala to walk for 30 metres, but she seems so happy," said Preecha Puangkham, head of Hang Chat Elephant Hospital.

"I can feel the joy she has from being outside, even though it looks painful to go around hobbling on her three good legs."

He said that Motala would undertake 20 minutes of exercise each day "to keep her mental state healthy."

Painful walk


[ image: Vets says it is important to keep Motala's spirits high]
Vets says it is important to keep Motala's spirits high
Motala, 38, trod on the mine whilst working to move logs near the Thai-Burmese border.

More than three days painful walk away from help, the blast away part of Motala's front left foot.

Using a borrowed crane to support Motala's massive weight, surgeons at the hospital undertook a pioneering operation to patch up her wounded foot and clear infected tissue.

The operation left her leg a few centimetres shorter than the other three.

Elephants are revered as the national symbol of Thailand and Motala's condition became headline news on Thai TV.

Despite Thailand's economic crisis donations to aid Motala's recovery flooded in from across the country, totalling more than $105,000.



Advanced options | Search tips




Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage | ©




Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia



Relevant Stories

28 Aug 99 | Asia-Pacific
Picture gallery: Jumbo op for elephant

06 May 99 | South Asia
Elephant dies of grief

01 May 99 | Asia-Pacific
Finding Miss Elephant

30 Dec 98 | Asia-Pacific
Thailand's elephants sick and abandoned





Internet Links


Friends of the Asian Elephant

Elephanteria

Thai elephant conservation

World Wide Fund for Nature: Thailand


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.




In this section

Indonesia rules out Aceh independence

DiCaprio film trial begins

Millennium sect heads for the hills

Uzbekistan voices security concerns

From Business
Chinese imports boost US trade gap

ICRC visits twelve Burmese jails

Falintil guerillas challenge East Timor peackeepers

Malaysian candidates named

North Korea expels US 'spy'

Holbrooke to arrive in Indonesia

China warns US over Falun Gong

Thais hand back Cambodian antiques