Mr. Cow is more than just a cow. He’s now a bionic cow with a fancy set of prosthetic limbs.
And, it’s a first for Gentle Giants, a non-profit charity based in Thailand, on a very long road to get Mr. Cow this far.
“We just made history!!!” the organization posted on social media Friday. “To say we are happy, overwhelmed, excited, thrilled, and overjoyed is an understatement! To see Mr. Cow upright for the first time in his life, taking those first steps with his prostheses was seeing a miracle happen right before our eyes!!!”
Gentle Giants was founded as the pandemic brought Thailand’s tourist industry to a standstill — and with it, those who controversially use elephants for a living.
Elephant trainers and riders, also known as mahouts, and their elephants, were thrown out of work when the tourists stayed home. Some looked to the dangerous and illegal logging industry. But others looked for ways to recoup some losses and ditch their elephants.
The charity partnered with the Save Elephant Foundation to both protect the gentle giants and rehabilitate them. That includes working with U.S.-based Bionic Pets to create prosthetic limbs for hobbled elephants.
Here’s Mae Mai with a knee brace crafted after being saved from the logging industry where she was left with a broken leg.
Mae Mai now lives the Elephant Nature Park sanctuary.
And, that brings us to Mr. Cow.
Gentle Giants branched out beyond elephants more than a year ago when they took in a cow born without full front legs. They named him Mr. Cow.
Thus began the mission to get the one-year-old cow walking more comfortably and upright.
The group has been working tirelessly ever since to fundraise in order to put a literal springs on Mr. Cow’s steps.
“To many I may be just a cow,” the organization posted. “But I am as sentient as any other being. I feel happiness, love, sadness, pain, discomfort all the emotions that you have ever lived. So can you please find it in your heart to donate so I can get my prosthetic limbs.. It is very hard and painful for me to live like this.”
The group has been posting avidly about Mr. Cow asking for donations.
“The limitations, pain and challenges he’s had to face in his very young life are those very few of us can truly comprehend,” the group posted on Facebook almost exactly one year ago.
“But we can imagine it if we put ourselves in his missing legs & hooves,” it added. “The strain Mr. Cow puts on his back must be extremely painful. How long can anyone live like this before there is no turning point? It’s true Mr. Cow isn’t one of the gentle giants our family is used to. But he is as deserving as any other we have under our care. He too deserves to live the best life he can live. And the life we dream for him.”
And finally, Mr. Cow’s new legs — and life arrived.
He’s officially joined the ranks of the world’s bionic giants.
Happy, overwhelmed, excited, thrilled, & overjoyed is an understatement!— Gentle Giants Non-Profit (@GentleNon) March 18, 2022
To see Mr. Cow upright for the 1st time in his life, taking those first steps w/ his prostheses was seeing a #Miracle happen right before our eyes!
More are asking for our help… We will update soon 🐄💜 pic.twitter.com/oXHzEHAQpt