RANKIN CO., Miss. (WLBT) - A duck with one foot is now up and waddling again, thanks to some students in Rankin County.
The robotics team made up of 8th through 12th graders used their time and talents to create a prosthetic foot for the 2-year-old female duck after hearing about her disability.
Now, Mallory is walking again for the first time in more than a month!
“We are just trying to help this duck get along in life,” said Veterinarian Scott Houston.
Houston works at the Brandon Animal Hospital and says an employee spotted Mallory at the reservoir in bad shape.
“Her foot was almost torn off, so I was assuming she was caught in something - maybe a fishing line,” said Houston.
Houston says the ducks foot was too infected to be saved and had to be amputated.
“That was obvious what we had to do it," Houston explained, “but one of my guys who works here is on the robotics team and wanted to try to make a prosthetic [leg].”
The Tech Challenge Team used 3-D printing technology to design and outfit the duck with a new foot.
“We actually just got a new 3-D printer and it allowed us to print flexible material, so the material will be able to flex and bend like the duck’s original foot,” said robotics team member Lauren Blacksher.
For the first time Wednesday, the students were able to see Mallory walk with her new foot.
“She will be able to survive a lot better. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to release her into the wild with a prosthetic limb, obviously, but she will be able to move and have a lot less wear-and-tear on the other foot,” said Houston.
“I think that it helps that our team can do more than just build robots," added team member Noah Gregory, “it allows us to be able to reach out to our community."