Amazing miracle Mosha the elephant is fitted with another prosthetic leg after landmine tragedy

Victims of landmines come in all shapes and sizes and Mosha the elephant is no exception.

Mosha, a baby elephant from Thailand, became the world's first pachyderm to be fitted with a prosthetic limb in 2007.

But the three-year-old has been growing so quickly she's outgrown two previous artificial legs and is now on her third.

Amazingly, Mosha is not the only elephant to be fitted with an artificial limb.

Another landmine victim, Motola, will also receive a prosthetic leg this weekend - 10 years after losing her left leg.

'I do hope she will accept the new leg. It would be wonderful to see Motola and Baby Mosha walking together side-by-side," said Soraida Salvala, secretary general of the charity Friends of the Asian Elephant.

Motola was injured in 1999 while she was working at a logging camp along the Myanmar-Thailand border. The area is known to be covered in land mines.

Her badly injured foot was amputated and the elephant managed to hobble along on three legs after the operation.

She was fitted with a canvas, shoe-like device two years ago, but will receive her own tailor-made artificial leg this weekend.

'It has been 10 years now, but in all these long years Motola enjoyed a happy life, walking out of her shelter for a sun bath,' said Salvala.

Experts in Thailand have already made casts of Motola's injured left foot for the permanent plastic leg. It must be strong enough to support the 48-year-old's three-ton weight.

Although Motola is the second elephant to receive an artificial leg, she has already been in the record books following her injury.

During the operation to remove her left foot, she received enough anaesthetic to knock out 70 people - a fact that put her into the Guinness Book of World Records in 2000.

Motola's new leg is being constructed by the Prostheses Foundation, an organisation that usually makes cheap but effective artificial limbs for human amputees.

The injuries of the two elephants have highlighted the difficulties facing the majestic creatures in Thailand.

Both are now being cared for at the Elephant Hospital in Northern Thailand. The hospital was set up by the FAE and is the only elephant hospital in the world.

It has treated thousands of elephants for ailments ranging from eye infection to gunshot wounds.

A number of elephants have also been injured by land mines, but the charity says this is just one problem facing the animals in Thailand.

They say the number of domesticated pachyderms has dropped from 13,400 in 1950 to today's estimated 2,500, while the number of wild elephants has also dropped dramatically.

Britain's 9,000 years oldest house gives a glimpse of post-Ice Age domesticity

Built 3,000 years before the miracle of Stonehenge, this is Britain's oldest and best preserved house.

The remains of the strongly built shelter, discovered on the Isle of Man, provide a rare window into the domestic life of hunter-gatherers 9,000 years ago.

Unearthed by accident during extension work to the island's airport runway, the 23ft wide pit is giving up extraordinary archaeological secrets.

Most exciting is the revelation that the people of the mesolithic age, long regarded as nomads who wandered ancient Britain in search of food, were actually very good at settling down.

In fact, 12,000 pieces of worked flint, along with a stockpile of tools, show that the homeowners were in residence for long periods at a time. Not to mention the buried mounds of hazelnut shells found around the house - a strong hint of what the ancient inhabitants nibbled for dinner.

It is thought the discarded shells were thrown into the fire and then swept out to the edges of the property in an ancient housework ritual.

A ring of postholes around the edge of the pit, along with carbonised timbers, suggests the building's supports were about six inches thick and far from a makeshift shelter.

Manx National Heritage field archaeologist Andrew Johnson confirmed the building showed that people from this time were settled for long periods.

'The received wisdom is that 8,000 years ago people constantly moved through the landscape as nomads, gathering their food from the land, rather than staying put and farming and harvesting it,' he said.

'But this building was constructed from substantial pieces of timber, and had a hearth for cooking and warmth.

Stunning new pictures of Mars show half-mile wide crater complete with sand dunes

It is one of the most dramatic images to ever emerge from Mars.

In fact, this extraordinary photograph is so clear that even the sand dunes at the base of the half-mile wide canyon are visible.

Experts even believe that they can see the tracks of a Mars lander on the left-hand corner of the Victoria Crater.

The image, taken by Nasa, shows in vivid detail the canyon which has lain undisturbed for somewhere between 10million and 100million years.

Its peaceful history was only broken when a Nasa rover landed in 2006 and explored the area until August last year, leaving behind its trademark tracks.

The space organisation's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter beaned down this stunning shot of the 800-metre-wide crater.

The High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera, which took the camera, has been a useful aide in Mars exploration.

Its images helped the Mars Opportunity rover navigate around the edge of the crater, and even take cover when winds kicked up a dust-storm in 2007.

Although the image looks like a 'top-down' shot, it was actually taken at an angle more akin to a passenger looking out of a plane window, allowing NASA to see more of the steep walls of the crater.

Another image from the HiRISE captures a 'dust devil' leaving a trail and casting a shadow.

The whirlwinds form as the ground heats up during the daytime, which warms the air immediately above the surface.

The hot layer of air rises and the cooler air above falls, and a horizontal gust of wind causes the air and any dust to rotate.

Early estimates pin Victoria Crater at somewhere between 10 million and 100 million years old, but the rocks within the depression themselves are likely much older - as in a few billion years in age, researchers said.

Daredevil stunt performs by high priest father 80ft above ground without a safety net

A priest performed a dangerous tight-rope stunt with no safety equipment 80ft above ground after a last minute hitch in plans for his charity fundraiser.

Father Jerome Lloyd was supposed to be carried along the rope on the back of a circus performer in scenes reminiscent of Frenchman Charles Blondin in 1859.

Blondin made it across a high-wire suspended 160ft above the Niagara Falls with his manager on his back.

Unfortunately, Father Lloyd's stunt had to be adapted at the last minute after professional tight-rope walker Chico Marinhos was unable to lift the 12.5st priest.

Father Lloyd said Zippos Circus performer Marinhos was unable to stand up once he was on his shoulders as he had nothing to lever himself up with upon the Big Top.

Father Lloyd, who was raising money for charity, said there was nothing else they could do other than for him to walk across the rope himself by holding on to Marinhos' shoulders as he crossed it in front of him.

He said of the stunt in Hove, East Sussex: 'It did actually feel fine. I wasn't really at all nervous as I'm not scared of heights.

'The only thing I was concerned about was that I would make Chico nervous.'

Father Lloyd, 43, a missionary priest from the National Catholic Apostolic Church, carried out the stunt wearing his traditional soutane and saturno.

He was raising money for the Sussex Beacon charity, which provides specialist care and support for people living with HIV.

In June Columbian Marinhos carried out another of Blondin's stunts by walking the high-wire and cooking himself an omelette halfway across.

Zippos Circus is at Hove Lawns in Hove until August 23.

Daredevil photographer captures Amazing monster wave just moments before it crashes over surfer

This breathtaking picture captures the seconds before a daring surfer is engulfed by a monster wave.

The spectacular shot was taken by surfer-turned-photographer Clark Little, who captured the incredible scene on Ke Iki beach, in Hawaii.

The massive shorebreak was more than 8ft tall but luckily the surfer survived unscathed.

Such shorebreaks, caused when a wave hits the shallow water at the sand, are powerful enough to drag down unsuspecting surfers and have been known to cause neck and back injuries as it breaks.

But Mr Little, from Oahu, Hawaii, is not afraid to jump into the water to capture the incredible power of the ocean on camera.

The 40-year-old, who has been a photographer for just two years, leans on his 35 years' surfing experience to knows when to be in the right place at the right time.

His efforts can involve actually getting into the waves themselves, which can be up to 5ft high.

Mr Little uses a Nikon camera, which is protected with a waterproof housing and takes pictures at nine frames per second.

While taking the pictures seems fraught with danger, the father-of-two says that he knows the ocean and his limits.

He said: 'I just use my surfing experience and go in the waves.

'I love the feeling of getting into the waves, I am addicted to shooting the shorebreaks but you need to know your limits and the ocean.'


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