Tags: toucan | prosthetic | beak | 3d | printed

Toucan Prosthetic Beak: Bird Injured by Vandals to Get 3-D Printed Bill

By    |   Friday, 13 February 2015 10:11 AM

A toucan in Costa Rica is getting a 3-D printed prosthetic beak after being attacked by a group of young people last month.

Agence France-Presse reported via Yahoo that the half-wild, half-tame bird has been named after his hometown of Grecia, and has become a beloved town mascot in recent years. When he was attacked with a piece of wood, news of the atrocity quickly spread from social media to the wider press.

Millions of people heard about Grecia's plight, and donations poured in to help fix him up.

Four different groups offered to care for Grecia after he was beaten, and a group of doctors soon figured out that he would be a good candidate for a prosthetic to help him eat.

"The quantity he manages to eat on his own is very small, so we have to help him," veterinarian Carmen Soto, who is caring for Grecia at the Zoo Ave rescue center, told the BBC.

Designer Nelson Martinez has stepped up to lead the construction of a new beak, and said they've started by creating a model of Grecia's stump.

"We couldn't use any type of adhesive with chemical components as it could compromise the structure of the beak," he said, noting that they are exploring using medical-grade screws to secure the prosthesis.

Along with the money donated by concerned citizens came a renewed call for the government to enforce animal cruelty laws, as well as create new ones. In Latin America, violence against animals is rarely punished, but in recent years social media has helped to highlight the issue, even galvanizing street protests at times.

"Twitter and Facebook have increased our awareness of cases of cruelty in Latin America," said Cynthia Dent, executive director for the Humane Society International in Latin America.

"In the past we would only hear about it when there was a case reported in the press. But now we have outraged people who take advantage of social media to highlight these cases of cruelty and join forces against them."

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A toucan in Costa Rica is getting a 3-D printed prosthetic beak after being attacked by a group of young people last month.
toucan, prosthetic, beak, 3d, printed
Friday, 13 February 2015 10:11 AM
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