APR 25, 2017 7:39 AM PDT

Secretary Bird Gets 3D-Printed Prosthetic Leg

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

When park employees at Walsrode, Germany’s Weltvogelpark bird park noticed an injured Secretary bird, they did everything they could to get it back on its feet again. Named Söckchen, the bird was approximately two years of age.

In particular, the bird had a broken left leg that needed to be dealt with. Unfortunately, because there was no effective way to mend the broken leg and for it to heal properly so the bird could walk on it again, experts were forced to amputate the leg to save the creature’s life.

This secretary bird received a 3D-printed prosthetic leg to repair a broken left leg.

Image Credit: Alliance/DPA/P. Schulze

"Söckchen used to be part of show group, but one day we found her in her aviary that saw that she had broken her left leg," Janina Buse, an employee at the Walsrode sanctuary, explained in a statement. "Because the nerves had been so badly damaged, we were unfortunately forced to amputate the leg."

The next step was to help the bird to walk again, and to do that, they needed another leg. Since you typically don’t find more Secretary birds just walking around saying, “here, take my leg instead,” the team turned to the 3D printing industry for help, and it was there that they found the solution to their problem.

Related: Unlocky dog receives a stroke of luck from 3D printing industry

More importantly, they turned to e-Nable, a company that normally makes 3D-printed prosthetics for children. There, two different prototypes were made for Söckchen, but the first was too heavy to be used. The second was much lighter and had no talons, but the bird is reportedly getting around great with it.

With a second chance to walk again, Söckchen is far better off now than she was with having a broken left leg.

Notably, this isn’t the first time the 3D printing industry has offered help to the animal world. It gave this injured sea turtle a way to eat again and it even gave this toucan a new beak. It’s expected that 3D printing will continue to have uses throughout the animal care field going forward.

Source: Phys.org

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
MAR 04, 2021
Chemistry & Physics
The magic vibrational powers of frog lungs
MAR 04, 2021
The magic vibrational powers of frog lungs
Ever tried picking someone up at a loud, crowded bar? It’s not easy – not only may they not hear your fabulo ...
MAR 26, 2021
Plants & Animals
A Massive 17-Year Cicada Swarm will Emerge Soon
MAR 26, 2021
A Massive 17-Year Cicada Swarm will Emerge Soon
The east coast is preparing for one of nature’s greatest spectacles. A gigantic swarm of periodical cicadas is due ...
APR 07, 2021
Plants & Animals
Scientists Discover a Crab-Dissolving Parasite
APR 07, 2021
Scientists Discover a Crab-Dissolving Parasite
Parasites abound throughout the natural world. While not all of them cause the host's death, this newly discovered p ...
APR 11, 2021
Cell & Molecular Biology
An Ancient Fish Is Changing Modern Textbooks
APR 11, 2021
An Ancient Fish Is Changing Modern Textbooks
Scientists have used the gar fish to learn more about the network of nerves that links our eyes to our brains. The gar i ...
APR 15, 2021
Chemistry & Physics
What can snakes teach us about durability?
APR 15, 2021
What can snakes teach us about durability?
A team of biologists, chemists, and engineers are studying snake locomotion in order to help them better design durable ...
MAY 13, 2021
Plants & Animals
Brood X Cicadas Are Here - Help Scientists Track Them
MAY 13, 2021
Brood X Cicadas Are Here - Help Scientists Track Them
Download this smartphone app to help document one of North America's natural wonders.
Loading Comments...