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Wounded turtle can return to the ocean thanks to a 3D-printed beak

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Look, we know this sea turtle's prosthetic beak has a tragic backstory, but it sure makes the reptile look like it has a future as a badass pizza-loving mutant. According to 3D Printing Industry, Turkish animal rescuers found it almost lifeless at sea, after a boat propeller shaved off a huge part of its snout. It escaped the clutches of death thanks to those kind folks, but a turtle that has to be hand-fed can never survive back in the wild. That's why the organization contacted 3D printing service provider BTech Innovation, which took the turtle's CT scans to create a beak that would fit it perfectly.

The company recreated the reptile's upper and lower jaws through software, and it printed out the resulting design using medical-grade titanium. That beak has been surgically attached recently so the critter's still in recovery, but it's doing just fine, as you can see in the video below. Once it's done recovering, the rescuers plan to release back to the ocean to live a normal turtley life. We're happy for it -- we really are! -- but we're also kinda sad that it would probably never meet the tortoise with a 3D-printed shell.

[Image credit: BTech Innovation/Facebook]

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