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Myanmar/Burma: Producer of the World's Largest Landmine Victims

Mae Ka Pae, 22 year old female elephant being cared for in Lampang, northern Thailand. August 2010. Photo: Friends of the Asian Elephant

On 3 August 2010 an elephant injured by a landmine while working in Myanmar/Burma arrived at the Friends of the Asian Elephant (FAE) hospital in northern Thailand.

Mae Ka Pae, a 22 year old female elephant, was the 13th elephant mine victim admitted for care at the FAE hospital. She lost part of her left rear foot to a mine while pulling logs in the jungle on the Burma-Thai border.

The ICBL has reported on elephants who have been victims of antipersonnel landmines in Myanmar/Burma since 1999. According to Soraida Salwala, Founder of the FAE hospital, most elephants victimized by landmines die in the jungle and never receive medical attention.

The FAE hospital is the only one in the world to provide mine-injured elephants with prosthetics, in conjunction with the Prostheses Foundation of Thailand, operated by Magsaysay Award winner, Dr. Therdchai Jivacate.

In a separate incident in northern Sri Lanka, reported in the media in mid-August, a wild elephant was seriously injured after stepping on a landmine in Periyamadu, Omanthai. After injury the elephant fell into a reservoir from which it was pulled and treated by officials from the Wildlife Department. Last February another wild elephant was killed after stepping on an antipersonnel mine in Vakarai, in eastern Sri Lanka.