Bird at German Park gets new 3D Printed Leg


BERLIN -- Soeckchen the secretary bird is now strutting around her home in northern Germany with an artificial leg produced using a 3D printer. Keepers at the Weltvogelpark bird park in Walsrode found two-year-old Soeckchen (Little Socks) in her aviary with a broken left leg. Her lower leg had to be amputated. Zookeepers turned to Lars Thalmann of e-Nable, which makes free prosthetic hands for children. The dpa news agency says it was the first time the organization had made a prosthesis for an animal.

Park spokeswoman Janina Buse says it took two attempts to get it right. A first prosthesis, which mimicked the leg's form, turned out too heavy. Buse says Thalmann built a second leg without talons -- "it looks much simpler, but the bird is managing brilliantly with it."

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