Elephant’s Incredible Comeback: Prosthetic Leg Restores Hope and Mobility

Chhouk, an 11-year-old Asian elephant, has defied the odds and regained his ability to walk, run, and swim thanks to a groundbreaking prosthetic leg.

Having lost his foot to a snare at just one year old, Chhouk’s journey to recovery showcases the resilience of wildlife and the impact of conservation efforts.

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Finding sanctuary with the Wildlife Alliance in Cambodia, Chhouk received support from the UK-based Paradise Wildlife Park, pivotal in funding his prosthetic foot.

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Crafted from recycled materials, including repurposed tires, this innovative prosthetic has transformed Chhouk’s life and set a remarkable example in animal welfare.

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Cam Whitnall, the 27-year-old proprietor of Paradise Wildlife Park and Big Cat Sanctuary, is passionate about global animal welfare causes.

Reflecting on Chhouk’s transformation, Cam shared, “It’s fantastic – you can’t help but smile.

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It’s an extraordinary moment to see what we’re helping to conserve and support, not just in Chhouk but worldwide. It’s the best feeling in the world to help animals.”

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This isn’t Chhouk’s first prosthetic; it’s the latest series supported by Paradise Wildlife Park over the past five years.

Due to Chhouk’s ongoing growth, a new prosthetic is required every six months, a process efficiently managed by a university in Cambodia.

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Keepers use treats to facilitate seamless prosthetic swaps, ensuring Chhouk’s stump is kept clean to prevent infections.

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Crafted from recycled rubber and secured with Velcro, each prosthetic weighs around 20kg. Cam Whitnall explained, “They use food and a clipping mechanism to get him to turn and adjust his body and are then able to give him a thorough look over to ensure there are no issues.”

Funding these prosthetics incurs an annual cost of approximately £1,200. Cam personally experienced a unique connection with Chhouk when he visited Cambodia at the end of the previous year.

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In the encounter, Cam said, “In the video, I’m pretty smiley for a good reason – it’s not every day you get to see and help an elephant like that.”

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