Toucan Found Injured on Roadside Gets New 3D-Printed Beak
An injured toucan found on the side of the road is now the owner of a new 3D-printed beak.
"Tuc Tuc" was missing a large portion of its lower beak when it was rescued, so Cícero Moraes, a Brazilian 3D designer, took a mold and printed a new version.
His team then fitted it to the bird during a two-hour surgery in Sinop, Brazil.
"This is an historical moment for science," Moraes told InsideEdition.com, "because it proves that this method works in all places in the world."
Moraes said that the prosthetic means that Tuc Tuc, a medium-sized toucan known as a chestnut-eared araçari, will not be able to return to the wild—yet.
"Animals with prosthetic cannot go back to nature," he said. "But the most important [thing is] they will live. Without the prosthetic, they will die."
He added that technology is still developing so, after further advances, Tuc Tuc may one day be able to return to the wild.
For now, the toucan is living at an animal sanctuary and, thanks to the new beak, can feed himself.
It's not the first exotic patient for Moraes and his colleagues.
Earlier this year, his team of veterinarians and 3D designers built the world's first 3D-printed titanium beak for a macaw named Gigi, whose own beak had been damaged by disease.
They also created an incredible hand-painted shell for a turtle named Freddy, who was left injured following a forest fire.