Beauty is a 7-year old Alaskan bald eagle whose upper beak was shot off by some stupid asshole. Unable to hunt or drink effectively, she was slowly starving to death while scrounging for food in an Alaskan landfill. Finally discovered, she was taken to a bird recovery center in Anchorage and hand-fed for two years with the hope that her beak would regrow. It never did. About to be euthanized, she was taken to Jane Fink Cantwell's Birds of Prey Ranch in Idaho as a last ditch effort. There, somebody came up with the idea of creating a bionic beak for the bird. Mechanical engineers, dentists, veterinarians, and other experts all volunteered their time to help the bird, and the beak is about to be attached.
Molds were made of the existing beak parts and scanned into a computer, so the bionic beak could be created as accurately as possible. The nylon-composite beak is light and durable, and will be glued onto the eagle.
Still able to breed, it is hoped that Beauty will one day get banged by a male eagle in midair and have babies. Truly heartwarming.
Oh, and I don't actually know if the beak will have a little antennae or make beepity boopity noises, but when you hear the word "bionic", you just have to assume.
A really sad picture of what the beak looks like sans bionic Photoshopping, after the jump.
Thanks to Pat, who is both an ornithologist and ichthyologist