HomeOutdoorsViralWATCH: Eagle Gets 3D-Printed Beak After Suffering From Bone Infection

WATCH: Eagle Gets 3D-Printed Beak After Suffering From Bone Infection

by Shelby Scott
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(Photo by CARL DE SOUZA/AFP via Getty Images)

A team of veterinarians have given a harpy eagle a better chance for survival thanks to technology. Experts fitted her with a new 3-D-printed beak after she lost portions of the upper beak to a bone infection. The footage below shows the work conservationists completed to help repair the eagle’s beak.

Per the video caption, the harpy eagle—named Queeny—is 27 years old. She had previously been at risk of losing her beak entirely. The video’s narrator said the team at Fort Worth Zoo decided to fit the large bird with a prosthetic in order to prevent her from catching the divet in her beak on something and injuring it more.

In order to best mend her injury, the team partnered up with a group at the University of South Florida. Experts determined the first step in safely fitting the eagle with a prosthetic beak was to get the infection under control. The Fort Worth Zoo rescuers teamed up with the university group as the ladder had previously run a news story about having done a prosthetic for a hornbill.

The footage then shows the team performing a CT scan to more closely examine the intricacies of her face and beak. They then begin grinding down the ruined bone and fitting her with the new beak.

Since receiving her prosthetic beak, zoo representative Avery Elander says the eagle is doing well.

“Queeny has made a complete recovery and is exhibiting normal harpy eagle behaviors. She is using her beak normally.”

Harpy Eagle Nest Contains Eerie Collection of Bones From Prey

Despite that Queeny the Harpy Eagle required some human help with her beak repair, she—not to mention her species as a whole—is considered the most powerful eagle in the world. Harpy eagles are also extremely skilled predators. They boast the same rank within their food chain as the jaguar and the anaconda.

What’s more, they are also massive. These birds boast broad wingspans greater than seven feet. They’re capable of reaching speeds of up to 50 miles per hour. And, finally, they’re also outfitted with talons five inches or more in length. These measure longer than those of another notorious predator, the grizzly bear.

All in all, the lion might be king of the jungle, but the harpy eagle completely dominates the sky. Further, these majestic and powerful hunters are also strangely skilled interior designers. The harpy eagle can easily apply hundreds of pounds of pressure with one quick squeeze of its talons, crushing the bone of its unfortunate prey. Interestingly, though, many of them actually choose to keep the bones of their meals to build out their nests.

A prior Instagram post, featured on the popular page Nature Is Metal, shows one harpy eagle’s collection from its nest. Photos capture the skulls, bones, and other remains of a variety of animals. Aside from the skulls of monkeys and sloths, the photo also captures a handful of bird beaks, nails, feathers, and armadillo shells.

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