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Flamingo adjusting to prosthetic leg at Brazilian zoo

Sorocaba zoo veterinarians said the flamingo's leg was amputated to prevent infection from a fracture.

By Ben Hooper

SOROCABA, Brazil, June 17 (UPI) -- A Brazilian zoo flamingo that lost part of its leg due to an injury is adjusting to life with a prosthetic leg, zoo officials said.

The Chilean flamingo at the Sorocaba zoo was fitted with the prosthetic after the lower portion of its left leg was amputated to prevent an infection from a fracture, veterinarians said.

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Zookeepers said the flamingo has taken to standing on its good leg while tucking the prosthetic under its body in the trademark pose of its species.

The 7-inch prosthesis was created from carbon fiber with a silicone sleeve by orthopedics entrepreneur Nelson Nole.

Nole said it took about 15 days to make the false leg.

"At first we tried to do only with carbon fiber to be light, since it is the material that we normally use, but the bird's leg is very thin and with few ligaments," he told G1.

He said the silicone sleeve was added to prevent causing further injury to the bird.

Zookeepers said the flamingo will rejoin the other birds in its exhibit once veterinarians determine it has adequately adjusted to the new leg.

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