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    This Large Bird Was Given a Metal Pegleg, Is Now Some Kind of Cyborg

    Written by

    Derek Mead


    Rather cool story from our neighbors in Canada: a sandhill crane chilling on a golf course was struck by a golf ball, and one of its long, spindly legs wasn't able to be repaired. Now, unlike the haggard pigeons wobbling around New York, cranes make their living strolling about marshes and whatnot, so a sandhill crane without a leg won't do too well. 

    So when Elizabeth Melnick, who runs a wildlife rehabilitation non-profit in Briticsh Columbia, brought the bird to a vet, that vet decided a prosthesis was the answer.

    Look at that wacky egg beater pegleg! Screenshots from the CBC.

    "It took about five days to catch him and bring him into the veterinary hospital. So, we had to amputate the foot and now we've fitted him with a prosthesis so that he can balance and walk with it," Dr. Ken MacQuisten, the vet in question, told the CBC. A long-term prosthesis is going to be fitted, but in the meantime, the crane is cruising on a bad-ass metal pegleg. (It's not a first, Smithsonian has a nice roundup of animals with bionic limbs.) Check it out:

    MacQuisten said the bird was unusually chill (my words) for a wild crane, which is pretty cool. What's even cooler is that the bird was even given so much attention at all. The CBC called the sandhill crane "rare," which I believe is meant in a local sense, as they're listed as being of least concern and increasing in population by the IUCN. The point is that it's rather cool to see people putting in the effort to save a wild animal for its own sake, and not simply because it's endangered. Plus, that metal pegleg rules!