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Severely Injured Toucan Who Was Attacked By Vandals To Receive 3-D Printed Prosthetic Beak

02/12/2015 02:58 pm ET
toucan

A bird in Costa Rica who endured a brutal attack is going to get a second chance thanks to some innovative technology.

A male toucan named Grecia lost the upper part of his beak after a group of vandals attacked the animal, according to Agence France-Presse. News of the bird's mistreatment spread across Costa Rica in January via social media, and four companies volunteered to help Grecia recover, BBC News reported. The groups plan to create a prosthetic beak using 3-D printing in an effort to help the toucan eat on his own -- a function the animal currently has great difficulty with.

toucan

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

Those responsible for injuring Grecia broke his beak with a block of wood, The Costa Rica News reported. Work is currently underway to create a prosthetic appropriate for the bird's use, which will become the first of its kind in the region, BBC News reported.

"We couldn't use any type of adhesive with chemical components as it could compromise the structure of the beak," Nelson Martinez, a designer on the team creating the prosthetic, explained to BBC. He told the outlet that he is working on a model that has "a fixed part and a moveable part so it can be cleaned or replaced as the toucan is still growing."

While the attack on Grecia was horrific, it has raised awareness regarding animal abuse in Costa Rica. After the vicious incident was reported by local media, a crowd fund campaign was started to pay for an artificial beak for the bird. In less than 48 hours, $5,000 was raised to go toward the project, according to the fundraising page. Furthermore, the incident spurred Luis Guillermo Solís, the country's president, to address the need to pass an animal cruelty bill, according to the Tico Times.

Solis spoke to the press about the attack last month, saying, "these acts go against the respectful and peaceful society that characterizes Costa Rica," the outlet reported.

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