In the past, animals who lost limbs were out of luck and just learned to live minus that leg (or two). Now, thanks to technology and some very caring and compassionate humans, creatures both great and small are being given second chances thanks to prosthetics.
1. Oscar the cat
Source: Reuters via Chicago Tribune Two-year-old Oscar was fitted with some new hind legs after he had his own severed by a combine harvester. Veterinarian Noel Fitzpatrick and the University College London team joined up to give this lucky black kitty another chance at a happy, active life.
2. Macho the horse
Source: Roy Madhur via Chicago Tribune
In 2003, a malnourished, badly injured horse was found on the side of the road in India. While many people would have immediately given up and euthanized the poor animal, veterinarians worked hard to amputate the horse’s leg and replace it with an artificial one. Now, “Macho” is safe, sound, and mobile!
3. Motala the elephant
Source: The Eyes of Thailand via naturely.org
In 1999, tragedy struck Motala when she was wandering the forest; she stepped on a landmine from the Burmese-Thai war, and it severed her leg so badly that she needed to have it amputated. In 2009, the technology was finally available for the fifty-year-old beauty to have her first permanent prosthetic leg. She was the first elephant to receive an artificial limb, but looking at how happy she is to be walking around normally again, you can bet she won’t be the last.
4. Bunker the sandhill crane
When Bunker’s leg was hit by a ball on a golf course, it was completely destroyed. After being taken to Dr. Ken Macquisten to have the leg amputated, Bunker was transferred to Elizabeth’s Wildlife Center for rehabilitation. But the temporary prosthetic leg wasn’t comfortable for the crane, and so the veterinarian called Orthopets in Denver, Colorado for a more permanent solution. Now, Bunker distributes his weight evenly on both his legs, and there is hope of releasing him back into the wild with a tracker to monitor him.
5. Yu Chan the turtle
Source: Toshifumi Kitamura via Huffington Post
For most animals, getting tangled in fishing nets is a death sentence, but for Yu Chan, it saved her life. She was pulled from the sea and discovered to be missing half of one flipped and a third of another due to what appeared to be a shark attack. The loggerhead turtle went through many pairs of prosthetic flippers before being outfitted with a comfortable vest created by Kawamura Gishi. She now swims happily at the Suma Aqualife Park in Japan.
6. Tripod the llama
Source: Caters News Agency via dailymail.co.uk
Sherry Hughes and Marc Field first saw Tripod trying to get around on three legs near their ranch in Denver. His hind leg was terribly injured and had to be amputated. The two took the llama into their care, and they soon raised enough money to outfit the fuzzy guy with a prosthetic leg from Orthopets. Now, Tripod hangs out with all the other llamas and alpacas on the ranch as happy as can be.
7. Fuji the bottlenosed dolphin
Source: Fumie Kato via health24.com