A Brazilian macaw named Gigi has become the first to receive a 3D-printed beak.
Cícero Moraes, a Brazilian 3D designer and facial reconstruction specialist, first saw the damage to her beak while on a trip to Santos City. Gigi had been rescued from captivity by police.
"The beak was growing without stop," Moraes told INSIDE EDITION, comparing the growth to human fingernails, even though macaws stop growing months after birth. "We do not know for sure what happened. The macaw was found in these conditions, abandoned."
A team of veterinarians and 3D printing designers came together to build Gigi a new titanium beak, screwed in place by colorful orthopedic screws, and attached using bone cement.
While the project was supported by some Brazilian institutions such as the CTI Renato Archer, which provided the titanium impression, Moraes told INSIDE EDITION that the team largely used their own money to fund the project.
"We work with other animals too," Moraes said. The team has previously printed beaks for toucans and a new shell for a tortoise.
They are now looking to see if a zoo will adopt Gigi.