Parrot Loses Beak, Veterinarians Make Prosthetic Replacement

After losing his beak in a fight with a dog (long story), Rocco the parrot got a prosthetic replacement until nis natural beak regrows.

By DAVID on August 2, 2018
(Photo by Victor J. Blue/Getty Images)

Ain’t technology great? A parrot was attacked by a dog and lost its beak, which left it unable to eat on its own.

The parrot, Rocco, was attacked by his owner Susan’s corgi. The bottom half of his beak was ripped off. Susan took Rocco to the emergency vet, where she was referred to Michael Orsi. He’s a specialist for exotic birds. In Michael’s care, some diseased skin was cut away, and the beak repair process began. Michael used a similar technique that’s used to repair horse hooves. The original beak was used with some reinforcement. Basically, a wire frame is made, mated to the original beak, and some resin was added. The resin hardens, is shaped, and hey presto – a new lower beak. Obviously the process is much more involved than that, of course.

Rocco’s new beak acts as a sort of “shell.” A bird’s beak grows naturally, at about the same speed as human fingernails. Rocco’s natural beak will begin growing back, underneath that “shell.” Eventually, the prosthesis can be removed, and his natural beak will be there ready to go.

This isn’t the first time a bird’s beak has been rebuilt though. Back in 2015, animal rescuers who saved a toucan from trafficking in an animal fair 3D-printed a beak. A portion of the toucan’s upper beak had broken away, leaving the bird unable to eat or groom. See more on that story here.

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