When an animal becomes sick, it”s easy to marginalize their needs by saying, “It”s not like it”s a human.” That harsh outlook fails to recognize the incredible gift of joy, love, and happiness so many animals bring to so many lives.
This group of animals were all discovered while seriously down on their luck and in desperate need of new limbs. Their luck changed, however, when their human rescuers graciously gave them each a second chance at life. With the help of talented veterinarians, the animals were given new limbs. Now they”ve been able to survive situations that would become death sentences for most other animals.
1. Motala the Elephant
In 1999, the elephant lost her leg after stepping onto an old landmine left over from the the Burmese-Thai war in the forest. It took ten years to fit her with a decent replacement, and now at 50 years old she walks with ease.
2. Yu Chan the Turtle
It wasn”t the fish net that rescuers found her tangled in that caused her to lose her fins. Most likely the survivor of a shark attack, Yu Chan was fitted with the fin-vest and now spends her day swimming around the Suma Aqualife Park in Japan.
3. Oscar the Cat
This farm cat lost his hind legs to a combine harvester but was fitted with some new gams by veterinarian Noel Fitzpatrick and the University College London team.
4. Chris P. Bacon the Pig
Born without hind legs, Chris” owners fashioned some out of a set of Kinex toys. Now the adorable piglet rolls around making appearances at children”s hospitals and inspires the kiddos to not let the bad things in life hold them back.
5. Bunker the Sandhill Crane
A stray golf ball destroyed Bunker”s leg, requiring amputation. After an uncomfortable first attempt, the doctors at Orthopets in Denver, CO set him up with this much more suitable solution. They hope to release him back into the wild soon, with a tracker.
6. Macho the Horse
Badly injured and seriously malnourished, Macho was found on the side of the road in India and given a second chance by his sympathetic rescuers. After amputating his leg and fitting him with a replacement, Macho now leads a much better life.
7. Tripod the Llama
Llama and alpaca farmers Sherry Hughes and Marc Field discovered Tripod limping around their land and immediately realized his leg needed amputating. After raising funds, they were able to get him back on four legs through Orthopets.
8. Fuji the Bottlenosed Dolphin
At 34 years old, Fuji came down with an unknown illness that required amputating large sections of her tail. Though she is able to swim without a prosthetic, her caretakers knew she would be much happier with the full fin. She only wears the customized tail enhancement for a short period every day, but it has made her a much more cheerful girl.
9. Septimus the Tortoise
While hibernating, his front legs were chewed away by rats and became infested with maggots. He was discovered by Darren Strand and his daughter who brought him to a vet where he received the amputation. Strand then fit him with wheels from a model airplane and now Septimus could win a race against any hare out there.
10. Meadow the Calf
Meadow was discovered by Nancy Dickenson in a neighbor”s yard suffering from severe frostbite on her ears and hind legs. Where most cows in her position would be sent to the slaughterhouse, Dickenson invested in the artificial limbs and now considers her part of the family.
11. Emma the Miniature Donkey
Born with a deformity which made it impossible to extend her hoof, Emma was fitted with the prosthetic as a foal and in doing so helped with research for future fillies suffering leg issues.
12. Nakio the Dog
Discovered as a puppy in an abandoned house, Nakio”s legs and tail were frozen in a puddle and he was in severely poor health. Parts of his nose, tail, and all four legs required amputation following his rescue. His owners raised enough funds to fit him with prosthetic hind legs through Orthopets, but he was still having trouble getting around. So Orthopets covered the bill for a second set and Nakio now roams around just like any other pooch.
13. Beauty the Bald Eagle
The victim of poachers, Beauty was discovered by Jane Fink Cantwell unable to eat, drink, or feed herself. With help from Kinetic Engineering Group, the fine feathered fella is able to live a normal life with his new 3D printed beak.
These brave animals and those who selflessly came to their aid deserve a standing ovation for their survival.