A Koala born with no foot will be receiving prosthetic limb replacement very soon, making it the first in the world to receive such treatment. The koala who goes by the name Triumph was rescued by Vet nurse Marley Christian in 2017 in northern New South Wales.
At that time, Triumph was a Joey whose mother was dying. According to Ms. Christian, he wouldn’t have survived in the wild if he wasn’t found.
He would’ve perished because you need to be able to efficiently climb. He needs to be able to jump for leaf and to get away from predators.Ms. Christian
The Joey was taken into care at Friends of the Koala in Lismore, where Ms. Christian became his primary career and named him Triumph. When Triumph was rescued, he had to be examined by vets and it was then discovered Triumph’s missing foot was a birth defect that could cause pain sometimes.
You can also read: Miller High Life to Give Away a Backyard Dive Bar with Free Beer
In order to relieve Triumph’s pain, Ms. Christian started dressing his stump in dolls’ booties and socks. This really helped the koala go through the pain.
Luckily, Ms. Christian realized there were scientists who could make prosthetic limbs for animals. She quickly sought for help on social media by calling out anyone interested in helping Triumph.
A company based in the US saw this and answered the call. The company volunteered to make a limb for Triumph. 3D printing and casts of existing limbs have been used to design prosthetic devices for animals such as ducks, dogs, and cows. These prosthetic devices have never been used for a koala.
It’s never been done before, some vets think it can’t be done, but we’re still going to try.Ms. Christian said.
According to Ms.Christian, due to the pandemic, the limb-makers couldn’t travel to Australia and as such relied on photos and video footage to start with their design.
It’s going to be a slow process, but we’re all excited. We want an extension that makes it the same length as his other foot, but also a bit of grip and a bit of padding.Ms. Christian