Myanmar/Burma continues to produce the World’s Largest Landmine Victims

Pa Hae Po arrives after a difficult trip from the Burma-Thai border at the FAE Hospital in Lampang, northern Thailand. September 2011. Photo: Friends of the Asian Elephant

Halt Mine Use in Burma, 30 September 2011

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

Pa Hae Po , a male elephant, was the 14th elephant mine victim admitted for care at the FAE hospital. He lost a part of his left front foot to a landmine planted in the jungle on the Burma-Thai border.Most elephants injured by landmines in the border area are involved in the timber trade. Last year a female elephant was injured on the border while pulling logs (see “Myanmar/Burma: Producer of the World’s Largest Landmine Victims“. Severe flooding throughout the region made it difficult to bring the elephant across the river, back to Thailand, and transport of the elephant from the border to the hospital was delayed by a landslide. The injury is being treated and the elephant is expected to recover, despite the power being out at the FAE hospital due to the severe weather.

Pa Hae Po mine damaged left front foot after treatment. Photo: Friends of the Asian Elephant

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.


Pa Hae Po rests after treatment for his mine injury at the FAE Hospital in Lampang, northern Thailand. September 2011. Photo: Friends of the Asian Elephant

In Sri Lanka, wild elephants have also been victimized by landmines laid in the past during the civil war in the country. One elephant whose lower leg was lost to a landmine was reported this month to be in the care of the Pinnawala elephant orphanage in the Kegalle District, central Sri Lanka

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