This is Buttercup. Okay, maybe his leg isn't exactly bionic. It's probably more accurate to refer to Buttercup as having a prosthetic foot. However, Buttercup has a foot that was made by a 3D printer, so by definition, I think I can get away with my title.
We met Buttercup and his caregivers at the Hummingbird Migration Celebration, and it was the highlight of my day. Buttercup is not your average Pekin duck, though you wouldn't notice from his photo. He's a famous feathered friend because he and his 3D-printed foot have been featured everywhere from Mashable to HuffPost, even Fox News. You can google him. Buttercup was visiting from his home at Feathered Angels Waterfowl Sanctuary, where he lives with other domestic ducks and geese that have been tossed aside by irresponsible humans. Jennifer and Mike Garey are the hearts (and brains) behind this nonprofit, where their mission is to "help abandoned domestic ducks and geese with food, shelter, and veterinary care; and facilitate adoption into safe, loving homes."
Being that I have ducks in my own backyard flock, I was very moved by their mission! But the science and technology behind this benevolent endeavor is really just mind-blowing when you think about it.
A person... used a printer... to create a foot... for a duck.
When I made plans to go to this hummingbird fest, I was expecting a bounty of nature and conservation-learning opportunities. I wasn't expecting STEM to boot!
We're hoping to visit Buttercup sometime and meet his friends. I can't wait to learn more about the work the Gareys are doing. You can follow the links to learn more or follow Buttercup's Facebook Journal.
|Buttercup's special foot|
|Buttercup has loved Teddy all his life.|