Fuji had a mysterious disease that resulted in the amputation of a good portion of her tail. While she could still swim, her caregivers in Japan knew that she’d have a more fulfilling life if she could have a “normal” tail like the other dolphins. A veterinarian enlisted the help of Bridgestone Corp., and soon, the thirty-four-year-old mammal had a full tail made of the same material you find on Formula One tires. Fuji only uses the fin for about twenty minutes per day for practical and safety reasons, but she’s a much happier dolphin now.
8. Beauty the bald eagle
Beauty was rescued close to death after being shot by poachers. The top half of her beak was gone, leaving her unable to eat, drink, or clean herself. His rescuer, Jane Fink Cantwell, enlisted the help of Kinetic Engineering Group to construct a 3-D printed beak for the eagle. After a few retries of getting the prosthetic to fit, Beauty was finally able to behave like a normal eagle.
9. Septimus the tortoise
Source: Matt Scott via Daily Mail
Septimus was hibernating so deeply, he had no idea that rats were gnawing off his front legs. When Darren Strand found the little guy under his porch, he took him to the veterinarian. What remained of Septimus’ legs were infested with maggots, and Darren and his daughter were faced with two options: amputation or euthanasia. The 23-year-old tortoise’s life was saved by an operation which attached model airplane wheels to his front end. Once he got the hang of it, Septimus became the speediest tortoise in town!
10. Meadow the calf
Meadow was found by Nancy Dickenson in a neighbor’s pasture with severe frostbite on her hind legs and ears. Nancy bought the calf and spent thousands of dollars to give her prosthetic hind legs. Colorado State veterinarian Dr. Robert Callan had never heard of a cow or calf being outfitted with artificial limbs; most of them are raised for food, and the costs of prosthetic legs isn’tworth the price they’d fetch. Luckily, Meadow will never end up on a plate; her new family considers her their baby.
11. Emma the miniature donkey
Source: Caters News Agency via Daily Mail
Emma’s right hind leg was amputated shortly after her birth due to a deformity that prevented her hoof from extending. A veterinary team developed a prosthetic leg for her when she was a foal, and now, the little donkey can run, buck, and kick just like any of her equine peers. Better yet, Emma’s success will help veterinarians learn to develop more artificial limbs for horses and donkeys of all shapes and sizes, meaning that a bad leg injury won’t necessarily mean the end of their lives.
12. Nakio the dog
Source: Facebook via mnn.com
Nakio was just a puppy when he was found abandoned in a basement during a brutal Nebraska winter. His tail and all four legs were frozen in a puddle of ice, and he was suffering from a host of other health problems. Once he was rescued, all four of his legs and part of his tail and nose had to be amputated due to frostbite. His new owner, veterinary assistant Christie Pace, raised enough money to get him prosthetic hind legs from Orthopets, but he still had some trouble getting around. When Orthopets heard his story, they covered the cost of outfitting him with two more legs, and now, Nakio can behave just like any other dog.
13. Chris P. Bacon the pig
Source: Rex via metro.co.uk
Chris P. was born without hind legs, so his owner (and veterinarian), Len Lucero, made the little piggy his own set of wheels from Kinex toys. A YouTube video of Chris using his “wheelchair” quickly made him a star, and now, he visits children’s hospitals. Since many of the kids are also in wheelchairs, seeing Mr. Bacon on wheels makes them feel less alone and gives them inspiration to never give up.
14. Molly the pony
Source: Daily Mail
When Molly was attacked by a dog shortly after hurricane Katrina, many vets thought that her life was over; her front leg was mangled and infected, and it seemed like the only humane solution was euthanasia. But when surgeon Rustin Moore saw how the pony was so careful with her injury, he decided to give her a second chance. He amputated her leg and gave her a prosthesis. The sweet, stubborn mare became a symbol of hope in New Orleans, and she began traveling to hospitals, nursing homes, and rehabilitation centers to show others that with the right attitude, you can overcome just about anything.
15. Dudley the duck
Source: Terence Loring via Daily Mail
Dudley was just a duckling when he was attacked by aggressive chickens and lost his leg. He could still swim, but he had trouble getting around on land. Mechanical engineer Terence Loring decided to help the duck, working with 3-D printing company Proto3000 to help build an artificial leg. Once some adjustments were made, Dudley loved his new limb. And thanks to 3-D printing technology, it’s no problem at all to print out new legs for the duck as he grows bigger and bigger. Loring even put the 3-D files online so that anyone who knows of a duck in need of a prosthetic leg can download them for free.