The koala, which was called “Triumph”, born with only three feet, has been able to jump and run since a prosthetic foot was installed, made by a dentist in the area.
Veterinary nurse Marley Christian said today, Monday, that she saved the little koala in northern New South Wales, Australia, in 2017, after she found it next to its mother while she was in the final agony, and it only had three feet and a prominent bone in the place of the fourth foot.
Explaining how Triumph became a completely complete animal once he fitted his prosthetic foot, she added: “As soon as I put on this sole and his little jumps, he started running and jumping. I really tears.”
“This is the best thing that has ever happened,” she said.
The nurse had become the most prominent caregiver for Triumph, at the Koala Friends Center in Lismore, south of Brisbane, while at the same time looking for a solution to his birth defect.
An American company specializing in animal prostheses tried to make a foot for him, but several attempts were unsuccessful.
Finally, the nurse found the solution with John Dolman, the prosthodontist, who heard about Triumph’s plight and volunteered to solve it. The doctor is working to improve his design, but said the koala “looks very comfortable” with the current prosthetic foot.
Triumph, now about five years old, will have to spend the rest of his life in captivity and likely in the care of nurse Christian.
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