Jary the Hornbill gets 3D printed prosthetic casque after cancer

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Oct 12, 2018 | By Thomas

Jary, 22-year-old male great pied hornbill, has been given a 3D-printed prosthetic casque after surgery to remove cancerous tissue.

In July, staff at Jurong Bird Park discovered an 8cm gash on Jary’s casque – an enlarged section on the bill. They suspected the bird might be suffering from cancer as much of the tissue under Jary’s casque had been destroyed by the disease. After a CT scan, surgeons decided to remove all the cancerous growth. The team worked with National University of Singapore to create a model of the casque for Jary to cover the exposed tissue as well as a jig to guide the saw during surgery. The whole design and 3D printing process took almost two months to complete.

The video below shows some of the surgery, “An oscillating saw was used to cut through the casque. The casque was carefully removed and the remaining tissue was scraped off and the blood flow was stopped. Jary’s new casque was carefully positioned. Holes were drilled to allow the casque to be screwed in place. An x-ray was performed to ensure everything was in place.”

The surgery took place on September 13 and Jary has made a good recovery and was discharged from hospital shortly afterwards. It’s interesting to note that Jary’s new casque has since turned yellow after he coloured it himself using pigment from his yellow tail, zoo officials say.

According to the Facebook video, his new casque has turned yellow. “He colored it himself using natural pigmentation from his tail,” the reserve stated.

Images credit: Wildlife Reserves Singapore (video)

“Jary was eating normally the day after the surgery, and recently also started rubbing the prosthetic casque on its preening glands, which secretes yellow pigment,” Dr Xie Shangzhe, assistant director of conservation, research and veterinary services at WRS told Yahoo. “These natural behaviors are good indications that he has accepted the prosthesis as part of him.”

Hornbills live to about 40 years old. The bird was given the name Jary because it means “helmeted warrior” in the ancient Norse language. Jary has now adapted quite well to his prosthesis and his prosthesis will remain until he grows a new casque.

Posted in 3D Printing Application

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