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‘Jungle Doctor’ Celebrated For Fitting Prosthetic Legs To Elephants Injured By Landmines

by : Niamh Shackleton on : 10 May 2021 12:07
'Jungle Doctor' Celebrated For Fitting Prosthetic Legs To Elephants Injured By Landminesjungle_doctor/Instagram

An Australian vet is being applauded for fitting prosthetic legs to elephants that have been injured by landmines.

Dr Chloe Buiting, aka the Jungle Doctor, has been helping Thailand’s elephants since 2018 in light of many of the animals being badly injured by landmines. Many of these bombs are located at the Thailand-Myanmar border.

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Without the help of Dr Buiting and cutting edge technology that creates prosthetics for the elephants, many of them would have been euthanised as a result of their injuries.

Three years ago, the vet shadowed a vet team Friends of the Asian Elephant (FAE) in Chiang Mai. FAE has been providing free care to elephants since 1993.


One thing Dr Buiting learnt while working with FAE was the creation of prosthetics for elephants. Discussing the work the hospital does, she told 7News, ‘The hospital does ground breaking work that helps elephants who have lost their legs from landmines.’

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The Jungle Doctor continued:

With the help of prostheses elephants can learn to walk again and live full lives that would have otherwise been impossible. My time with them was an experience that I will never forget.

The Australian vet further explained that at FAE, injured elephants don’t have their prosthetics on 24/7 and that they’re removed at night.

Further explaining the process, Dr Buiting said, ‘To do this, the leg is first coated in talcum powder before a protective sock is applied. Then, the padded prosthetic is fitted to the site, adjusted and tightened with a ratchet system.’

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‘It gives the elephants quality of life that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to have,’ she added.

Dr Buiting hasn’t only done conservation work in Thailand, though – the vet said some of the ‘most amazing experiences’ she’s had was while working in Africa.

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She told the Australian news network, ‘I was fortunate enough to work with a range of species, from elephants to rhinos and many others [while in Africa]. It’s just an incredible experience to work with such majestic animals.’

However, she also described it as ‘an extremely brutal place’ for animals due to the ongoing wildlife crime there.

Meanwhile, the Jungle Doctor dubbed her time spent in South Africa as ‘particularly eye-opening’ as she was able to help elephants that were vulnerable to poaching.

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From the looks of Dr Buiting’s Instagram, elephants aren’t the only animals she helps. Her page, which boasts 166,000 followers, shows her helping an array of animals: from koalas and hippos, to sloths and even hedgehogs.

It think we can all agree that the world needs more people like the Jungle Doctor.

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Niamh Shackleton

Niamh Shackleton is a pint sized person and journalist at UNILAD. After studying Multimedia Journalism at the University of Salford, she did a year at Caters News Agency as a features writer in Birmingham before deciding that Manchester is (arguably) one of the best places in the world, and therefore moved back up north. She's also UNILAD's unofficial crazy animal lady.

Topics: Animals, Africa, Australia, elephants, Life, Now

Credits

7NEWS
  1. 7NEWS

    Dr Chloe Buiting opens up about ‘eye-opening’ international conservation work