Toucan gets a new beak, created on a 3D printer - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Toucan gets a new beak, created on a 3D printer

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(CNN) -- When you're a toucan, you need your beak. It's a pretty important part of your identity.

Tieta was a toucan with a big problem. She was missing about half of her upper beak.

Thanks to some resourceful researchers in Brazil, Tieta now has a new beak, printed on a 3D printer.

Federal Police found her at an animal fair in Rio de Janeiro and took her to the Free Flight Institute for help.

Roched Seba, who headed up the project to fabricate a new beak for Tieta, told CNN affiliate TV Globo that he believes she was mistreated by wildlife traffickers.

"Without the front part of the beak, Tieta would have had a precarious life and would be dependent on someone to feed her, Seba said.

It took researchers a couple of months to perfect the faux beak. They created four different ones.

Once attached, it took Tieta just three days to learn how to use it.

"With the prosthesis, she won't be released into the wild because she will require monitoring, Seba said. "But, she will have a more autonomous life."

That new life could be a sanctuary where people could visit her and learn from her story, Seba said

Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources will make the final decision.

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