This happy toucan is beak in one piece after vets restored his broken bill with a 3D printer.
The young bird arrived at a wild animal rehab centre with a badly dented upper beak.
But vets had to wait until he had reached adulthood before they could replace it.
Newsflash obtained the images from the State Secretariat for the Environment, Economic Development, Production and Family Agriculture (Semagro).
Semagro is headquartered in Campo Grande, which is the capital city of the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, in west-central Brazil.
The photos show the toucan looking forlorn as it lies on a table with a large chunk of its oversized beak missing.
Subsequent snaps show the Neotropical bird looking good as new with its specially-made prosthesis.
Semagro said on Monday, 28th April: “The CRAS (Centre for Rehabilitation of Wild Animals), from Imasul (Environment Institute of Mato Grosso do Sul) carried out another unprecedented and innovative procedure at the national level, with the manufacture of a prosthesis in a 3D printer for a male toucan whose beak’s upper portion was broken.”
They added: “According to veterinarian Dr Lucas Cazati, from CRAS, who performed the implantation of the prosthesis, the procedure was in preparation for a few months and involved advanced three-dimensional printing for making the animal’s body part.”
Dr Cazati explained: “Last year, a similar procedure was performed on another toucan, in the interior of Sao Paulo [state], but the size of the prosthesis was smaller.
“This implant now has been another of the actions carried out by CRAS to support wildlife in Mato Grosso do Sul.”
Semagro said the toucan had been under the care of CRAS for about eight months.
Dr Cazati said: “He arrived young and with a dented beak on the upper portion. We did not identify if there was a malformation, if he fell from the nest or had an accident.
“As the bird had great difficulty in feeding, we waited for it to reach the adult stage to be able to print a beak compatible with its weight and size.”
The statement continued: “The prosthesis, made of special filament for this purpose, was produced on a 3D printer donated by naturologist Richard Rasmussen to Dr Lucas Cazati for use in the work carried out by CRAS.”
Dr Cazati continued: “The prosthesis model was made from the extraction of a tomography image and reproduced in a 3D printer compatible with the weight and size of the animal.
“Today, the toucan eats well, behaves well and continues to be observed and cared for at CRAS.”
The statement continued: “In March 2020, CRAS performed a beak implant on a blue-and-yellow macaw and, in October last year, implanted a 3D prosthesis in the leg of an adult seriema, procedures that have received national recognition among higher education institutions in the country.”
Dr Cazati said: “Today, CRAS is a pioneer in beak banks and is accredited in supporting the production of prostheses for animals with no limbs. In situations like this, even if the animal cannot return to nature, we offer it quality of life.”
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Story By: William McGee, Sub-Editor: Marija Stojkoska, Agency: Newsflash
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