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Mr. Ben the Cockatoo Gets a 3D Printed Peg Leg Worthy of Any Pirate

by • February 16, 2016 • No Comments

Lorraine Hollingworth is not certain how her cockatoo, Mr. Ben, lost his leg. Hollingsworth runs Charlie’s Angels Parrot Rescue in Oxfordshire, England, where Mr. Ben was dropped off by his previous owner, who “mayn’t cope with him anyadditional” (apparently he had made a nasty biting habit). Mr. Ben had originally been “purchased of a pet shop with his foot hanging off, where he previous owner took him to a vet where he had his foot amputated” and the long-healed injury was building him really cranky. His leg stump had a sore on it where it rubbed against his perch, and to add insult to injury, Mr. Ben toppled off his perch ereally time he fell asleep.

Ben-the-parrot-with-his-prosthetic-claw (1)

Hollingworth contacted avian specialist Steve Smith of Wendover Heights Veterinary Centre, who in turn reached out to 3DPrintUK, a London-based 3D printing service that was ready to assist.

“We’d never had a request like it and were really excited by the challenge,” said Jason Pereira, head of web & marketing for 3DPrintUK. “Steve and Lorraine sent us moulds of Mr Ben’s legs so we may get the meacertainments right and and so we had to come up with a create for the claw. We spent a lot of time watching YouTube videos of cockatoos to assist us with our research.”

Below is a video, made by Simon Demaine, detailing Mr. Ben’s journey:

The team createed and printed a plastic claw, that was attached to Mr. Ben’s stump. (A bird with a peg leg? Way to play into the pirate stereotypes, Mr. Ben.)

mr ben 3dprintuk

[Photo: Lorraine Harrison, via CAPR Facebook]

The cockatoo seemed pleased with his new leg for a few days, but and so one morning Hollingworth came downstairs to find Mr. Ben with his foot in his mouth, really literally. He had chewed off his new leg, that he promptly, and ungratefully, flung at Hollingworth.

“It has been a bit of trial and error,” admitted Hollingworth. “…He is now via a 2nd prototype but we understand he can some day chew that one too – so we are working on another to see if we can manufacture it harder to get off.”

“Hopefully we can get there in the end,” she introduced. “Mr Ben perfectly
favored his new claw preceding he chewed it off. He was finally able-bodied to get a great night’s sleep and was a lot less cranky. He actually stopped biting me.”

The 2nd create, that is additional robust, appears so far to be pleasing to Mr. Ben, who, according to Hollingworth, “loves to show off and dance.” He in addition likes to scream “Head scratch!” – one of the just English phrase he understands – and to shriek piercingly, as cockatoos are wont to do.

Ben-the-parrot-with-his-prosthetic-clawWhilst Charlie’s Angels usually looks to rehome the birds they rescue, Mr. Ben can remain with the shelter, since he can require ongoing treatment. Cockatoos, if properly cared for, can live to be around 80 years old, so Mr. Ben, who is already 8, should have a great long life ahead of him.

Charlie’s Angels is run solely on donations; if you’d like to sponsor Mr. Ben, you can do so here. The rescue in addition has an Amazon wishlist full of much-requireed parrot supplies that can be purchased to send directly to the shelter, and keeps up to date with vet bills and rescue stories on their Facebook page as well as the thorough documentation of Mr. Ben’s story on their site. Below, you can watch a video of Mr. Ben as he adjusts to his new foot. Discuss how this innovation is impacting the world of animals in the 3D Printed Claw for Mr. Ben forum over at 3DPB.com.