The inspiring journey of a baby elephant with a prosthetic leg and overcoming adversity

These inspiring images depict the strength of an elephant who has attached a limb to an elephant’s snare and has fully embraced his new life with a prosthetic limb.

Under two years old, Chhouk was found near death in a Cambodian forest. Bravely, he escaped malnutrition and an infected wound.

A dedicated wildlife warden rescued him and Chhouk was taken to live in an outdoor area, where Cambodian doctors provided him with a prosthetic leg. A decade later, Chhouk’s caretakers demonstrated that the prosthetic leg was so comfortable that the elephant expressed displeasure if he could not wear it.


Chhouk, the resilient elephant, inspired us all with the story of his prosthetic leg.


Chhouk undergoes an X-ray that reveals the absence of his limbs, a poignant visualization of the trap that led to its demise. The contraction from the tгар adequately cuts off blood flow, leading to the withering of the underlying tissue.


Chhouk is undergoing the process of being fitted with a prosthetic leg, a product provided by the Cambodia School of Prosthetics and Orthotics. This practical step in the elephant’s rehabilitation represents collaborative efforts to restore the elephant’s mobility and improve his quality of life.


Chhouk enjoyed a refreshing dip in the pool with another elephant standing at the water’s edge. Caregivers noted that the rescued elephant spent his days in a large outdoor enclosure with another elephant named Lucky.

Nick Marx, from the Wildlife Alliance гeѕсᴜe and Care, who initially cared for Chhouk in the jungle a decade ago, remembers the dire condition when he found the elephant. “He was in danger and seemed certain to die. He is skinny and very thin. It seemed like it was only his physical state that kept him upright,” Marx said.

“The WWF team captured Chhouk, named Lotus after their patrol station, and tied him around his neck to a tree – a sensible way to stop him from wandering off. The elephant was anesthetized, treated and its injured leg bandaged before being carefully transported to Phnom Tamao through a dangerous jungle. I was extremely worried because the face had many rocks and undulations. If Chhouk feɩɩ, he can go even further,” Nick added.


In 2007, Chhouk, when he was less than two years old, was tied to a tree to protect himself after being discovered in the Cambodian jungle. He was malnourished and had an infected wound, requiring this precaution to ensure his health.


In 2007, a rescuer took a photo with the younger Chhouk in the Cambodian jungle where the elephant was discovered after his leg was attacked by an elephant.


Chhouk confidently strides through his outdoor area in Cambodia with the help of a prosthetic leg. Rescuers insisted that he receive a consistent diet of leaves, branches, sugarcane tops, bananas, grass and coconuts to support his health and rehabilitation.


Every evening, Chhouk’s prosthetic leg is meticulously inspected and refitted by animal rescuers to ensure it functions optimally. Shoes were changed and for his safety, Chhouk was brought into the house for the night. This dedicated care reflects our commitment to maintaining the health and well-being of the resilient elephant.


Rescuers diligently worked to fit Chhouk with prosthetic limbs, which he had become so accustomed to that he became agitated without them.

According to one charity worker, the prosthetics have undergone a new design described as “lighter, stronger and quicker for our staff to change”. Chhouk quickly approved of the new design, showing his enthusiasm by running around the barn within minutes of trying on the new shoes.

Chhouk lives in an outdoor enclosure, on-site every morning and throughout the day, with two caregivers attending to his daily needs and taking care of his feet. His routine includes feeding a regular diet of leaves, branches, sugarcane tops, bananas, grass or coconuts.

As the first elephant in Cambodia to receive a prosthetic leg, Chhouk is celebrated as a гeѕсᴜe success story. His elephant caretakers trained him to use reward-based positive thinking to effectively change his prosthetic leg. Notably, he will not be fed until he changes shoes, taking advantage of hunger to ensure compliance.

During the day, Chhouk spends time with Lucky, another elephant, in his large outdoor enclosure. In the evening his damn leg was checked once, the shoe was changed and he was brought inside for the night for safety. This comprehensive care protocol reflects Chhouk’s commitment to his health and successful recovery.


Chhouk is released from his night cage every morning and throughout the day, with two caretakers diligently attending to his daily needs and taking special care of his paws. In the accompanying image, they are pictured fitting him with prosthetic limbs, demonstrating the dedicated efforts invested in ensuring his comfort and mobility.


Rescuers proudly announced that Chhouk, pictured here, was “celebrated as an elephant success story” for becoming the first elephant in Cambodia to be successfully fitted with a prosthetic leg. His journey highlights the dedication and progress made in the field of elephant care and rehabilitation.


Chhouk is seen with Tam, a member of the Wildlife Care and Protection team, who plays a role in looking after the elephant’s health. This collaborative effort reflects the commitment and compassion of the team dedicated to Chhouk’s care and rehabilitation.

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