Wednesday 28 September 2016

VIDEO: Toucan who lost beak in captivity eats with new 3D-printed pecker

Cormac Fitzgerald

Published 25/08/2015 | 12:59

A Brazilian toucan that lost its beak while in captivity has been fitted with a new prosthetic one made with a 3D printer.

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The female bird, named Tieta, was rescued from a wildlife animal fair in Rio de Janeiro.

Tieta the toucan Photo: Instituto Vida Livre
Tieta the toucan Photo: Instituto Vida Livre

The project to print her a new beak was co-ordinated by wildlife management group Instituto Vida Livre and involved three Brazilian universities.

The pecker took three months to design but took only two hours for the 3D printer to print it.

Tieta the toucan Photo: Instituto Vida Livre
Tieta the toucan Photo: Instituto Vida Livre

It is made from plastic, covered with nail polish and then sealed with a special polymer made with castor oil plant.

The surgery took only 40 minutes for the beak to be fitted.

Tieta the toucan Photo: Instituto Vida Livre
Tieta the toucan Photo: Instituto Vida Livre

Researchers hope that Tieta will be able to have chicks and feed them with the beak but unfortunately she won't be able to be returned to the wild.

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