A team of six specialists and a 3D printer are working to save animals with disabilities.
They call themselves the Animal Avengers, and they're turning animals into Captain America and Iron Man.
Working mostly out of Sao Paulo, Brazil, the team of volunteers--four veterinarians, one dental surgeon and a 3D designer--are employing new-age technology to repair severely wounded animals, both pets and wild animals.
Undertakings have included various 3D printed productions of bird beaks for toucans, a goose, and a parrot.
But perhaps most impressively, the team gave a severely burned turtle a prosthetic shell. The tortoise was dubbed Freddy after Freddy Krueger because her shell apparently resembled the character's face.
To create the prosthetics, the crew takes actual photos of healthy animal appendages. Using computer programming, they create a 3D image which is then printed, one layer at a time, and surgically fit to the animal.
In order to make the prosthetics more realistic, artists have even been hired for painting purposes so that the shell and beaks blended into surroundings au naturale.
The group even printed a tooth so that a Labrador Retriever puppy with a broken incisor could successfully eat again.
Pets can sometimes get by with a missing appendage when it's a leg or a paw, but a beak or a shell is vital to the survival or a bird or a turtle, and teeth help a dog eat efficiently.
Thankfully, good-hearted people and smart-minded scientists like the Animal Avengers exist!