Meet Max, a rescued Blue & Gold macaw who is living at the Hyacinth Haven Bird Sanctuary in Plettenberg Bay, South Africa. Hyacinth Haven offers a safe haven to parrots and other birds who, for various reasons needed a new home. Hyacinth Haven is completely self-funded.
Max unfortunately got into a fight with another macaw and lost most of his upper beak. This created massive problems for his mobility and his eating. If you look at the second picture you can see on the acrylic mockup, the line showing what he has left of his beak and what he lost.
The future is not all doom and gloom thank goodness as notwithstanding the likely large expense involved I am going ahead with the plans to have him fitted with a 3D printed Titanium beak. I have disregarded other materials as unlikely to survive the rough handling meted out to it by a macaw.
This is not a simple task and I am working with a company that does animal prosthetics who will be doing the cad drawings, as well as the Bloemfontein University of Technology who will do the actual 3D Titanium printed beak.
Without a top beak to maintain it the bottom beak continued growing straight out which started preventing Max from feeding himself.
With Max due to have a CT scan at Onderstepoort by Professor Gerhard Steenkamp and Dr Dorianne Elliot it was decided by them to first operate on his lower beak to bring it in line with its original shape.
Max then had a few days R&R before being taken for the scan.
This was to determine the feasibility of successfully fitting a 3D printed Titanium beak.
After the scan Professor, Dorianne and Philip van der Walt of Bunnycorp animal prosthetics were able to say with certainty that we should go ahead with the planned beak.
Now the process starts that will be using the scan results and 3D models to finalise everything, and trial, all in computer before printing the prosthetic and fitting it to Max.
The actual printing of the beak would be done by Johan Els of the Central University of Technology in Bloemfontein.
No time frame at the moment but in my book we are off to a great start.
The cost altogether is going to be phenomenal and includes two return trips up to Pretoria from Plettenberg Bay, Cat scan, vet fees, CAD drawings and once all is done, Max will need his own special aviary designed for his own particular needs and to ensure no further injuries in the future.
An estimate of costs are likely to be:
Two round trips diesel only R18000
CAT scan and vet fees R12000
CAD drawings are going to be done as a PR exercise so cost is unlikely to be above R500 ( for bits and pieces only ) thank goodness
Special aviary I would think is going to be a minimum of R60000
Titanium beak ????????
Any donations, however small that will help towards getting Max a new beak and his own home will be most gratefully received. Without a full beak, Max is unable to live any kind of normal life. Thank you.