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SOROCABA, Brazil (AP) — A pink flamingo in Brazil has gotten a new leg to stand on — an artificial one. Zookeepers at a zoo in southeastern Brazil said this week they think it’s the first time a flamingo has used a prosthetic leg.
The 6-year-old Chilean flamingo at the Sorocaba zoo fractured his left leg a month ago.
“To prevent an infection from setting in and spreading to the rest of his body, which would have killed him, we decided to amputate the leg and give him the prosthesis,” said the zoo’s veterinarian, Andre Costa, who performed the surgery on the bird.
Costa said it’s unknown how bird’s leg was injured, but that “perhaps one the clumsy pelicans that share the enclosure crashed into him or he was attacked by one of the crowned cranes, who are very aggressive and territorial.”
Whatever the cause, it was clear the bird would have little chance of survival with just one leg, so the zoo decided to give the artificial leg a try.