25 June 2015

Flamingo in Brazilian zoo gets artificial leg

Veterinarians place a specially-made prosthetic leg on a Chilean flamingo at a zoo in Sorocaba, Brazil, Tuesday, June 23, 2015. The flamingo's left leg was partially amputated a month ago to halt an infection. Veterinarian Andre Costa says the bird wouldn’t have survived with just one leg.
A pink flamingo in Brazil has gotten a new leg to stand on — an artificial one.
Zookeepers at a zoo in southeastern Brazil said this week they think it's the first time a flamingo has used a prosthetic leg.
The 6-year-old Chilean flamingo at the Sorocaba zoo fractured his left leg a month ago.

"To prevent an infection from setting in and spreading to the rest of his body, which would have killed him, we decided to amputate the leg and give him the prosthesis," said the zoo's veterinarian, Andre Costa, who performed the surgery on the bird.
Costa said it's unknown how bird's leg was injured, but that "perhaps one the clumsy pelicans that share the enclosure crashed into him or he was attacked by one of the crowned cranes, who are very aggressive and territorial."
A zoo veterinarian uses an X-ray to show the amputated limb of a flamingo, and prosthetic leg, on a computer screen at a zoo in Sorocaba, Brazil, Tuesday, June 23, 2015. Veterinarian Andre Costa who performed the amputation to halt an infection that would of killed the bird, decided to give the 7-inch carbon limb a try. He says the bird wouldn’t have survived with just one leg.

Whatever the cause, it was clear the bird would have little chance of survival with just one leg, so the zoo decided to give the artificial leg a try.
The 7-inch carbon limb was donated by a local prosthesis manufacturer.
Within days the flamingo was adjusting nicely to his new leg — even tucking it under his body to make the flamingo's classic one-leg standing pose.
A Chilean flamingo eats while standing with the help of a specially-made prosthetic leg, at a zoo in Sorocaba, Brazil, Tuesday, June 23, 2015. Zookeepers in southeastern Brazil say they think it’s the first time a flamingo has used a prosthetic leg. The 7-inch carbon limb was donated by a local prosthesis manufacturer.

But challenges remain.
Costa said the bird remains apart from the other 28 flamingos kept at the zoo and will only be gradually reintroduced to the flock.
"The other birds might see the prosthesis as an object to be attacked, not as a leg," he said. "They may shun or attack, and even kill him." 
(AP) 
A Chilean flamingo stands with the help of a specially-made prosthetic leg, at a zoo in Sorocaba, Brazil, Tuesday, June 23, 2015. The six-year-old flamingo fractured his left leg one month ago and it was partially amputated to halt an infection.
A Chilean flamingo stands with the help of a specially-made prosthetic leg, at a zoo in Sorocaba, Brazil, Tuesday, June 23, 2015. The six-year-old flamingo fractured his left leg one month ago and it was partially amputated to halt an infection. 

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