Featured Image Credit: Alexis Simmons/Twitter
By: Laura O’Brien
Shane Boylan, a veterinarian at South Carolina Aquarium, is working to improve the life of an injured seagull. The seagull, Gumpy, entered Boylan’s care after rescuers found him tangled in fishing twine. The bird’s legs were so horribly mangled that Boylan said, “its feet were hanging on by pieces of skin”. Many birds would not have survived such a serious injury, but Boylan could see that Gumpy was resilient. Though Gumpy’s rescuers brought the bird to Boylan so that he could euthanize the poor creature, Boylan believed he could save him. Boylan had to remove the seagulls mangled feet, but the injuries have healed well due to his skilled work.
Boylan has allowed Gumpy to take up residence in his home, along with his two dogs. Gumpy has been hopping around on his ankles to get around, but Boylan has been working to give Gumpy an upgrade. Gumpy’s namesake comes from the movie Forest Gump, in which the main character, Forest, needed braces for his legs as a child. Forest’s mother tells him that the braces are “magic shoes”. Later, Forest recognizes his friend’s prosthetics as “magic shoes”. Boylan worked with the Department of Teaching, Learning, & Technology at the College of Charleston to create 3D printed prosthetic “magic shoes” for Gumpy. The first pair they created fit the bird well; but Boylan hopes to create an even better pair, to allow him to walk as naturally as possible. Boylan also hopes to officially adopt Gumpy as a pet, since a return to the wild will not be an option. Gumpy may not be able to go back into his natural habitat, but he is lucky to have a loving home with a dad who will stop at nothing to help the bird live its best life.
Learn more from our sources, https://www.postandcourier.com/news/gumpy-the-sea-gull-lost-both-his-legs-but-/article_1f535326-73ca-11e8-adc0-5f545c17c9ca.html , and https://www.3dprint.com/218492/3d-printed-feet-gumpy-seagull/