I came across this little article with the cumbersome title, “Parrot With Damaged Beak Gets Second Chance at Life With New Prosthetic Beak” and I was instantly intrigued. Not only do I have a friend who has a parrot (Hi, Feathery A!), but I also went to dental laboratory technology school at one point, so I’m very interested in appliances that help fix your teeth (or beak, in this case).
I will warn you that some of the “before” pictures in this article are a bit upsetting. The only reason I could stand to look at them is that I knew there was a happy ending. This bird was found in terrible shape. Not only does an all-but-nonexistent beak mean it can’t eat, but it also can’t climb or protect itself. Without intervention, it wouldn’t have lasted long.
Having created dental appliances in a lab myself, I know that this reconstruction was even more complicated than it looks. If the shaping had been even one millimeter off, the bird would have been in constant pain. Just imagine if you had to go through life with your jaw slightly crooked, and you’ll see how uncomfortable it would have been for the parrot. And since parrots use beaks like we use hands, to interact with the world, it would have been like a jaw ache compounded with carpal tunnel syndrome at the same time. Yikes.
But from the looks of it, they did an excellent job, and the bird looks very happy. It seems to have made a full recovery. I’m so happy to know that there are organizations in this world that are willing to go out of their way to help animals in distress. Well done, Renascer ACN!
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