(Memphis) It’s not often a News Channel Three Live at 9 guest arrives in a cage and gets the star treatment.
Accompanied by his teddy bear, you can probably tell this is no ordinary guest. And, for that matter, this is no ordinary duck.
Meet Buttercup the duck and his owner, Mike Garey.
“You want to talk? Here’s Teddy. Here’s Teddy. Quack, quack, quack,” Garey said.
Garey and his peg-legged friend, Buttercup, are prepping for the cameras to show off his new webbed foot.
“When he was born his left leg was deformed. It was kind of turned backwards like so and was walking on the backside of his foot.”
The domestic white duck was born last year with a backward left foot and had it amputated because it would bleed as he tried to walk on it.
“Once we amputated the foot, I had the idea I could create him a prosthetic foot that’s exactly like a duck foot.”
Garey is volunteer at Feathered Angels Waterfowl Sanctuary in Arlington, Tenn., and he’s also a software engineer.
He found a 3D printing company called Novacopy and it agreed to donate its services to help create a foot for Buttercup.
“I thought if I could make a copy of Minnie’s left foot then that will give him the foot he needs.”
Being the celebrity that he is, Buttercup has a girlfriend named Minnie the duck.
Buttercup’s owner modeled the prosthetic foot after Minnie’s left foot, taking 25 pictures of it and uploading them into the 3D printer.
What came out was a new, bright red rubber foot that Buttercup is slowly learning to use..
“Once his muscles get stronger, he’ll be able to straighten it up and the foot will come down,”
Buttercup showed off his new foot on our news anchor desk. He’s also getting the attention of a nationally known insurance company.
“Aflac made a donation to our sanctuary for $3,000,” Garey said.
The Aflac duck better watch out because Buttercup could be waddling towards taking his job.