A beak is as important to a bird as hands are to a human. So when a bird’s beak is damaged, it can put its life at risk because it interferes with their ability to eat, manipulate objects, climb, and protect themselves. That’s why it's a reason to celebrate when a parrot whose beak was broken got a second chance at a healthy and happy life with a recent reconstruction. The Brazil-based non-governmental organization (NGO) Renascer ACN created a prosthetic beak that is a perfect fit for the beautiful bird.
The bright green parrot was found in “a terrible condition” with its beak all but gone. Once discovered, Renascer ACN worked with veterinarian Maria Ângela Panelli Marchió—who specializes in animal orthopedics—to create a handmade plastic resin prosthesis. After attaching posts in the bird’s stumped beak, the polymethylmethacrylate material was formed into the natural shape of the parrot’s beak and then fused to the metal. The binding is meant to last; polymethylmethacrylate is an extremely durable substance that would “take a chainsaw” to remove from the parrot.
The parrot has since recovered and is able to live a normal life again. But due to its prosthesis, it can’t be returned to the wild as there is the risk of it eventually breaking because of the bird’s near-constant use of its beak.