Macaw Eats Again, Thanks To World's First 3D-Printed Titanium Beak

Gigi the parrot suffered from a rare condition that meant her bill didn't stop growing.

Gigi's got a blingy new beak.

The macaw, recently rescued from captivity in Brazil, is eating solid foods again after being fitted with the world's first 3D-printed titanium parrot bill.

Online footage shows Gigi using her colorful new prosthesis to contentedly munch on a snack:

It's a radical transformation for the exotic bird. Brazilian authorities found Gigi abandoned in southeastern Sao Paulo state earlier this year, and learned she was suffering from a rare medical condition that meant her beak wouldn't stop growing.

The parrot couldn't even properly chew food when cops picked her up, Inside Edition reports.

A team of three veterinarians and 3D designer Cícero Moraes came together to give Gigi a second shot at life, according to Australia's ABC News Online.

"The beak was growing without stop," Moraes told Inside Edition. "We do not know for sure what happened. The macaw was found in these conditions, abandoned."

Moraes, who was part of a cooperative effort to provide Gigi the parrot with a new metal beak, says it was a "historic moment" in his Facebook post, above.

After realizing that a plastic beak wouldn't be adequate because of the hard foods macaws like to crack and eat, the group constructed a life-size model of what Gigi's new bill should look like. They then converted it into a 3D-printed titanium version.

Vets fitted the beak at Animal Care Ipiranga in Sao Paulo last Thursday, according to a Facebook post from Moraes. The surgery was a success, and within 48 hours, Gigi was reportedly chowing down on her favorite foods.

"The first prosthesis in the world, printed in metal to be placed in a macaw!" he wrote on Facebook.

Gigi is now recovering at the Center for Research and Screening of Wild Animals at Unimonte, a university in Santos.

"Our dear Gigi is recovering super well, without presenting any difficulty," the center posted on Facebook on Monday.

Since the parrot has been kept in captivity her whole life, it's unlikely she'd survive in the wild. The team is therefore looking for a zoo that can take her in.

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