Page last updated at 12:14 GMT, Tuesday, 19 May 2009 13:14 UK

Hungarian stork gets a new beak

Tamas Kothay and stork
Tamas Kothay made an artifical beak for the stork out of synthetic resin

A stork with a damaged beak has been given a new, artificial one thanks to experts at a bird hospital in Hungary.

The stork damaged its beak in an accident and was taken to the Hortobagy Birds' Hospital, 180km (111 miles) east of the capital Budapest.

The bird's lower beak was repaired in an operation and Tamas Kothay, a specialist in dental prostheses, built a new top beak out of synthetic resin.

If the bird makes a full recovery it will be released back into the wild.

Dr Deri Janos, who helped in the one-hour operation to fix the top beak, said the stork had probably broken its beak by flying into a wall.

They believe the bird is about three years old.

Without the operation it would have needed hand-feeding for the rest of its life and would have been unable to return to the wild.

The bird hospital has been in operation since 1991 and has returned about 40% of its patients back to the wild.

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