Since 1782 the bald eagle has been the national emblem of the United States and it remains to be an important symbol today. In the past, the eagle has had a treacherous path, going from an endangered species to where it is nowadays. Many eagles were killed because of insecticides, electrocution and hunting. In 1963, only 487 nesting pairs were still remaining. Only with special care and breeding in captivity was the bald eagle able to return in its full glory. In 2007, the bald eagle was finally cleared from the endangered species list. Nevertheless, some eagles still fall victim of poaching.
One of such cases is Beauty, a bald eagle native to Alaska. A hunter shot her in the face and the upper part of the beak was destroyed. This meant she was unable to eat or clean herself. A team of engineers, wildlife experts and a dentist was able to construct Beauty’s new beak. They created a replica of Beauty’s beak and took X-Rays of her head. The final result was a 3-D printed prosthetic beak which enabled Beauty to be a normal eagle again.
She can now preen herself, eat and drink and be a normal eagle again.
Check out the video below to see Beauty get her new prosthetic beak!
Article cover photo:
“Flying Bald Eagle”