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Thanks To Technology, Toucan Gets A Second Beak On Life

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

There's a toucan in Costa Rica who may have his faith in humanity restored. The toucan, who has been named Grecia, was reportedly attacked by some youths who tore off the upper part of his beak. He was found and taken to a rescue center where he is reportedly resting and eating a little. Toucans need their beaks to eat and to modulate body temperature. The quantity he manages to eat is very small, said Carmen Soto, a veterinarian on staff. So we have to help him. Pictures of Grecia and his mangled snout began to appear in news media and social media platforms. People got outraged to see a gorgeous and innocent bird so damaged by human beings. A campaign to make a prosthetic prow for Grecia has begun. It raised thousands of dollars and several local companies say they're confident that they can use 3-D printing technology to create a new bill for Grecia. It might have to be held in place by screws instead of adhesives. Dr. Soto says they're waiting for Grecia's wounds to heal so that the stump of his beak can be scanned and a new beak made-to-order for him by kinder human hands. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.