Thursday, 31 July 2014

Awe-Inspiring Animal Prosthetics

Oscar the Cat Gets a New Pair of Shoes

Actually, Oscar the cat got something better, a new pair of legs. Oscar's feline curiosity led him one day to explore a combine harvester, a misguided decision that would leave him without his hind legs. Instead of creating some kind of degrading wheel contraption for Oscar, though, humans stepped their game up and created Oscar Pistorius-like blades for the little kitty. The new pair of hind feet are drilled into his back leg bones and are built for indoor play, but they are better than no legs at all. Seriously though, if cats really do have nine lives we are not sure this is the best way to spend one of them. Either, way this is a unprecedented achievement in terms of animal prosthetic innovation.

A Piglet With a Wheelchair Made Just For Him

Chris P. Bacon was born without the use of his back legs. While the little piglet’s name suggests a not very pleasant fate, he has been thriving thanks to a wheelchair constructed for him by a U.S. vet.

Winter the Dolphin Gets a Brand New Tail

Losing your tail as a dolphin would be the equivalent of losing our legs as human beings, if not worse. Life is going to be a struggle, and chances of survival in a natural environment are slim to none. That's why Winter, a dolphin whose tail became irreparably entangled in a crab trap line in 2005, is a prime candidate for a prosthetic tail. She has been a source of inspiration to human amputees, who can visit her in Clearwater, Fl. for free. We visited the Clearwater Marine Aquarium in early August. This is a short video clipping of Winter, the dolphins, condition

Beauty the Bald Eagle Gets a New Beak

The bald eagle is one of our most recognizable national symbols, the animal that most represents the principles of America. Already an endangered species, killing a bald eagle is up there with refusing to eat apple pie as far as anti-American offenses go. So when one is injured and needs a new beak, the president puts the best and brightest scientists on the task of fixing it. Patriotism drives technology, plain and simple.

A One-Flippered Turtle Gets Her Rudder Back

Being a turtle with one flipper requires determination, boundless energy, and a serious resistance to dizziness. Allison the sea turtle has all of these qualities, and she spent the majority of her life constantly swimming in tight circles to avoid doing barrel rolls in the water. Turtles need all three fins to balance, and her handlers believe Allison lost three of hers to a shark. In their place her human guardians created a black suit that fits over her shell and provides a balancing fin that, when used with her one fin, allows her to get around the swells with ease. Coined a "ninja suit", Allison is said to enjoy the new invention so much that she swims away from her handlers when she sense it is time for it to come off.

One Tortoise's Toy is Another's Prosthetic Leg

When an abandoned tortoise called Schildi lost his leg, most likely from an accident, he had trouble adapting to his new prosthetic. This is Schildi, the German tortoise who successfully underwent Lego leg attachment surgery in recent months. Found wounded by its current owners with maggots devouring portions of its front leg, Schildi was taken to the turtle hospital for emergency surgery. The double wide wheel didn't have the radius ideal to win races so a single wheel device was rigged from the Lego set. Who says innovation is dead?

Cassidy the Three-Legged Dog Gets A Shot at Dignity

The three legged dog has been an image used over the years to describe someone or something that is pathetic or remarkably useless. The sight alone inspires pity, and most times these are the dogs that are sad enough to donate a dollar to but just too depressing to adopt. Some people do not see dogs as their source of joy though, but just the other way around. And when a couple finally decided that the homeless Cassidy deserved a new life with a new prosthetic leg, they shelled out the cash for the unprecedented operation. North Carolina State University spearheaded the project and have given Cassidy the full ability to walk.

Meadow the Two Legged Calf Finally Walks

The ability to run, jog, and even walk is something most humans take for granted. We cannot truly understand the sense of loss that comes from losing one's legs or never having them unless we encounter the experience first hand. Although cows live admittedly lazier lifestyles than humans, they also do not have access to human resources and their lives are not as valuable. With that in mind it is remarkable that Meadow, a calf who lost her two rear legs to frostbite, became the first cattle fitted with double prosthetics instead of a double whopper. A potential double Baconator became a definite feel-good story.

If a Stork Has No Beak Who Will Drop all of the Babies Off to their Parents?

We all know how babies are made. It's a story as old as man itself and one every child must learn upon entering man/womanhood. When a mommy and a daddy love each other they kiss and then a stork drops a child off to them when they are ready to be parents. It's really that simple. And this stork, who lost his beak in an unspecified accident, can now get back to work thanks to the Bird's Hospital east of the city of Budapest, Hungary. The doctors are confident the stork is near ready for a return to the wild and with any luck he will be dropping off Hungarian offspring within the week.

KBuck the Mini Horse Receives a New Eye

Now introducing KBuck, the only animal on our list to make both the All-Inspiration team and the Worst Pet Names Hall of Fame. KBuck's story is tear-jerking nonetheless, as the miniature horse was kicked in the eye by its own mother, causing irreparable damage to the eye itself and KBuck's hopeful career as a show horse. God knows those vain horse judges won't stand for any one-eyed horses taking home the Gold, so doctors decided a prosthetic eye would give him another shot at glory. His 12 year old handler, who outfits her male horse with degrading pink accessories, is elated at the chance to further undermine her pony's manhood. Just when KBuck thought he had escaped the trials and tribulations of show biz

Chhouk the Elephant Gets a New Foot, Makes People Everywhere Melt Inside.

Animals have always been the lovable losers of the animal kingdom. Like their swimming brethren the manatee, elephants are big, slow, and have no real defense mechanism to speak of. Their hug-ability score is off the charts, and their ivory tusks have made them easy targets for illegal poachers. Chhouk lost his front left foot to a poaching trap, and was on the brink of death when conservationists found him wandering through the Cambodian wilderness. They were able to construct a custom prosthetic foot for Chhouk, allowing him to live the Dumbo life like the whole thing never happened.

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