Bagpipes, a one-legged blue penguin from New Zealand, has finally found his balance after getting a new 3D printed foot.
The bird’s left foot was amputated in 2007 after it got tangled up in a fishing line.
He was rescued and brought to the Antarctic Centre in Christchurch and has lived there for nearly a decade.
Now Don Clucas, a mechanical engineering design professor at the University of Canterbury, has developed a 3D printed prosthetic for the feisty bird.
“The hardest part was scanning his foot because he is quite wriggly,” Clucas told local publication Stuff. He added the entire process took around 30 hours.
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The Antarctic Centre said they believe this is the first time a wild animal has been fitted with a 3D printed prosthetic in New Zealand.
Bagpipes was fitted with a prototype of the prosthetic last week, which Clucas said went “better than expected.”
Video of the fitting shows Bagpipes flopping onto his belly but quickly standing on his own two feet and waddling around effortlessly.
His caretakers at the centre told The Telegraph that Bagpipes would develop pressure wounds on his stump and would resort to using his beak and flippers to get around.
“Hopefully, we can get him rehabilitated using his foot normally as he would, instead of over-compensating and using his feet and his flippers,” said penguin keeper Mal Hackett.
This week, Bagpipes will try on an updated prototype, with the final set including rubber to help with his grip.