Friday, 4 December 2020

Toucan ‘To Get Prosthetic Beak’

The toucan lost the upper part of its beak in a brutal attack by a group of youths
The toucan lost the upper part of its beak in a brutal attack by a group of youths

COSTA RICA NEWS – The toucan in Costa Rica which lost the upper part of its beak after being attacked by youths looks set to be fitted with a prosthetic replacement.

Four Costa Rican companies that have volunteered their help say they possess the skills to create a prosthesis for the injured bird.

- Advertisement -

They say they will use 3D printing to create the first prosthesis of this kind in the region.

In the US, prosthetic beaks have been created for an eagle and a penguin.


The male toucan, named Grecia after the area where it was found, was taken to an animal rescue centre in January.

- Advertisement -

Pictures of its mutilated beak caused outrage after they were circulated in Costa Rican newspapers and on social media.

A campaign to provide the bird with a prosthetic beak quickly raised thousands of dollars and a number of local companies offered their help.

Four of them, Elementos 3d, Ewa!corps, Publicidad Web and Grupo Sommerus, said on Tuesday that they were confident they could design a suitable prosthetic for Grecia and fit it.

Toucans use their beaks to eat and also to regulate their body temperature.

On the mend

Veterinarian Carmen Soto, who looks after Grecia at the Zoo Ave rescue centre, said the toucan was recovering well and had even started eating on its own.

- Advertisement -

“The quantity he manages to eat on his own is very small, so we have to help him,” she said.

Designer Nelson Martinez said the priority was to create a prosthesis which would help Grecia eat.

He told newspaper La Nacion that he and his team had been studying toucan beaks to come up with a suitable design for Grecia.

Grecia's wounds have to heal a bit more before the toucan's beak can be scanned
Grecia’s wounds have to heal a bit more before the toucan’s beak can be scanned

He said they were working on a model that would have “a fixed part and a moveable part so it can be cleaned or replaced as the toucan is still growing”.

Ms Soto said Grecia’s wound was scarring well and that within the month it would be possible to scan its stump.

Fitting replacement

This will be key to ensure the prosthesis fits Grecia and will also influence how it is fitted.

“We couldn’t use any type of adhesive with chemical components as it could compromise the structure of the beak,” Mr Martinez said.

The team is studying if it could be fixed with screws instead.

Ms Soto warned that the prosthesis would have to be both lightweight and hard-wearing to ensure it would not come off or be damaged.

The team said it was planning to create models of Grecia’s stump to be able to experiment with different fittings.

Karley Fu, of Grupo Sommerus, told La Nacion that another unknown was whether Grecia would accept the prosthesis.

Graphic from


- Advertisement -
"Rico" is the crazy mind behind the Q media websites, a series of online magazines where everything is Q! In these times of new normal, stay at home. Stay safe. Stay healthy.

Related Articles

Bankruptcy not a claim for employers to avoid paying Aguinaldo

QCOSTARICA - Some 215,772 workers will not receive their Aguinaldo (Christmas...

Costa Rica and Canada celebrate 100 years of official relations

QCOSTARICA - To celebrate 100 years of official relations between Costa...


Public institutions will be closed from December 24 to January 4

QCOSTARICA - The institutions of the Executive Branch will be closed from December 24 and that they will re-open on January 4, 2021. "In this...

Bill would allow invasive tracking with facial recognition

QCOSTARICA - Advancing in the Legislative Assembly, a bill that proposes an invasive tracking of inhabitants of Costa Rica through facial recognition and other...

Screaming for a Living: More than 5,000 try to earn a living in the streets of San Jose

QCOSTARICA - More than 5,000 people try to earn a living informally in the streets of San José by selling all kinds of products....

Consumer pessimism in Costa Rica decreased a bit at the end of 2020

QCOSTARICA - Costa Rican consumers remain pessimistic regarding their assessment of the economy, although there is a slighlty better perception than in the previous...

Employers begin to pay Christmas bonuses for 2020: The have until December 20

QCOSTARICA - It is December, also known as the 13th month, the month when all salaried employees in Costa Rica, including employees of international...

Mexico received a request for the sanitary registration of the vaccine from BioNtech / Pfizer

Q24N - The alliance of Germany's BioTech, which developed the vaccine against COVID-19, and the Pfizer consortium have delivered documents to the Commission for...

Let's Keep This Going!

To be updated with all the latest news and information about Costa Rica and Latin America.

Log In

Forgot password?

Forgot password?

Enter your account data and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Your password reset link appears to be invalid or expired.

Log in

Privacy Policy

Add to Collection

No Collections

Here you'll find all collections you've created before.