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Elephant injured in land mine blast

An elephant is being treated by vets after it was injured by a land mine near the border between Thailand and Burma.

The 22-year-old female, named Mae Ka Pae, had her foot blown off in the explosion last week.

The area is strewn with mines from fighting between the Burmese government and ethnic minority rebels.

Mae Ka Pae is the 13th mine casualty at the innovative Friends of Asian Elephant hospital near the northern Thailand city of Lampang.

Her condition on Thursday was described as "good".

Dr Preecha Phuangkam, a vet and the hospital's director, said: "We have now monitored her condition for 48 hours after we cleaned the wound and injected pain killers. We will give her a tetanus shot later today.

"Overall, she is a good condition. She is obedient and can eat normally."

Mae Ka Pae joins two other elephants, Motala and Mosha, who remain at the hospital but have recovered well enough to wear prosthetic legs. Mosha became the world's first elephant with an artificial leg, attached in 2007.

Traditionally the truck, taxi and logging worker of Thailand, the elephant has lost most of its jobs to modernisation. However, the tourism industry still employs large numbers of the animals for trekking and other activities. Some, including a number along the Myanmar border, are still used in illegal logging operations.

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