One thing you can bet when you visit Central America you are going to see birds, as many, as colorful and as gorgeous as you can not imagine. Even locals are blown away from time to time. Beautiful colorful birds are one of our biggest prides. One of those mesmerizing birds are the Toucans members of the family of the Ramphastidae. Recognize a toucan is pretty easy. You only have to look at their beak.
Now when encountering any wild animal the only proper behavior towards it is to admire it for as long as it decides to stay in front of you. The only acceptable shot is the one that comes from a photo camera. Apparently a couple of humans didn’t know this basic rule whom in January 2015 broke a toucans beak, presumably with a stone.
When help arrived the damage was horrendous. The animal had lost around 80% of is superior beak. The toucan was soon carry to the Zooave a wild life rescue center. It was named Grecia. Grecia’s condition was terrible, unable to feed by himself, he had to be nourish daily and treated with antibiotics every day. Making the already hurt bird endure a big amount of stress. Grecia was feed and treated diary by hand for more than 60 days. His behavior, endurance and patience is something the people who take care of him are still amaze off.
The mutilated toucan flood Costa Rica social and mainstream media. Disbelief, rage and genuine concern motivated a Crow founding project to restore Grecia’s beak with a 3D printed beak. The process took more than 8 months. Several companies donated their time and money designing the prosthesis, and the money raised in the Crow founding campaign was use for the printing of the beak and Grecia’s treatment until the beak arrived from the United States. The risk of Grecia rejecting the prosthetic beak was high, that only if the beak was to fit at all.
Luckily the beak fit and the stump had heal perfectly and Grecia look extremely happy. He was complete after almost 9 months. Now Grecia can feed himself, fly around and live almost an ordinary toucan life. He can not leave captivity because his new beak could fall and would have to be reattached. His beak is gray, it was not painted to create consciousness and remember the toucan once mutilated and the efforts of a country to preserve his life. Since then a new legislation on animal cruelty has passed in Costa Rica. While the world hopes for acts like these to never be seen again.
The story of Grecia is now airing in Natgeo and Discovery channel under the tittle “Toucan Lost Paradise.”