Vulture (Mia) becomes first bird in the world to receive permanent Bionic Limb Replacement

We have seen bionic replacements on humans and now it is also possible for large birds. Experts of the Medical University of Vienna have announced that they have done a bionic limb replacement in a female bearded vulture. Researchers are describing it as the first bionic bird in the world. 

Large birds like a vulture injured their legs they have to amputate, this leads to difficulty in walking, landing, and catching their food. Small birds do not get this difficulty if they lose one leg. But replacing the large bird’s leg is difficult as a heavy load is put on the prosthetics. But the Medical University of Vienna experts have introduced a bionic limb replacement that can restore the ability of large birds to walk, fly with a perfect landing, and catch their food.

A female bearded vulture named Mia is the largest type of bird flying in Europe. When Mia was found with a severely injured foot, she has brought to the Owl and Bird of Prey Sanctuary located in Haringsee, Austria. Her foot has severe damage which needs to amputate so that she can live in wild.

The group of researchers led by Prof. Oskar Aszmann, who was known for outfitting three human amputees with mind-controlled bionic arms, comes to rescue Mia. Researchers amputated the foot of Mia and then joined the bionic limb at the end of the leg bone in the bird’s residual jump. For this surgery, the researchers used the osseointegration process.

bionic insert vulture
X-rays of Mia’s leg with its prosthetic foot, Credit: Medical University of Vienna

After the three weeks of bionic limb replacement, Mia able to walk and after six weeks she was able to put her whole weight on the foot. And now Mia can walk and land normally.

Through the use of bionic limb replacement now we can save large birds like a vulture and then they can live their life on their own. Researchers used the osseointegration process, which allows the natural use of artificial legs for walking and feeding. This is the first time that the bionic replacement of limbs is done successfully in a vulture.

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