Gigi the macaw is a brightly colored parrot who was rescued from captivity in Brazil.
Unfortunately, when rescuers found Gigi, they discovered that her poor little beak was so malformed that she couldn’t even eat on her own.
With such a disadvantage, rescuers were shocked to find that she had been able to survive for as long as she did.
Determined to help, the rescuers brought her to the Renato Archer Technology and Information Center (CTI) in Campinas, Brazil, where experts were able to perform a miracle that allowed Gigi to eat solid food on her own!
Scroll through below to learn about the amazing technology that restored Gigi’s beak to perfect working order and to see what’s in store next for this incredible animal.
This is what Gigi looked like when rescuers found her in captivity.
As you can see, the severe deformations on her beak made it nearly impossible for her to pick up and hold onto food like other parrots.
In order to help Gigi, experts from the Animal Care Center in Ipiranga, Sao Paulo, decided to do something that had never been done before: They 3D-printed a prosthetic beak out of titanium, rather than plastic.
They explained: “Macaws use their beaks to break open seeds and other hard shells, meaning they must be extremely durable and strong. Along with being biocompatible, lightweight, and rust-resistant, titanium is one of the strongest metals on Earth, making it the perfect material for this job.”
In order to fit the titanium beak permanently to Gigi’s face, the vets sedated her, then used bone cement and orthopedic screws to attach the prosthetic.
There were lots of loving staff on hand to make sure that Gigi pulled through the complicated surgery with flying colors.
Of course, Gigi is a very special bird, a fighter who survived even though she had a major disability, so not just any titanium beak would do.
The team gave her a very special prosthetic, attached with shiny, multi-colored screws that match Gigi’s sparkling personality!
Here’s what Gigi looked like just 48 hours after the surgery!
“It is extremely rewarding to return the quality of life to an animal, and after seeing the before and after picture, there is a huge sense of accomplishment,” announced the Center for Research and Screening of Wild Animals at Unimonte University, where Gigi is recovering.
Even with her new beak, the veterinarians have said that Gigi would be unlikely to survive in the wild, due to having lived most of her life in captivity. However, they are currently seeing if she can be adopted by a zoo.
Here she is with the veterinary team that gave her a new lease on life!
We’re so thankful that expert scientists and technological advancements can come together to save a life as innocent and beautiful as Gigi.
Have you ever had a pet with a prosthetic? Tell us about it in the comments.
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