When a Bulgarian cat was left maimed by a mysterious accident, his loss of limbs meant he would never again have full mobility.
Thanks to a local surgeon and modern advancements in technology, the furry feline was outfitted with a pair of bionic legs and given a new lease on life (video below).
Pooh is a stray cat residing in Pleven, Bulgaria. In April 2016, an unspecified road accident took his hind legs, rendering him crippled at only 1-year-old. A sympathetic woman brought the injured feline to a veterinary clinic, where surgeon Vladislav Zlatinov resolved to rebuild him with innovative technology, Reuters reports.
He wanted to give Pooh a new pair of legs, mirroring a surgery that had been successfully done for a cat seven years prior in the UK.
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"I had the vague idea that this is done, but it sounded impossible for our practice," Zlatinov said, according to Shareably. "But I wanted to try."
A local Bulgarian animal shelter helped raise the funds for Pooh's surgery. Zlatinov acquitted himself excellently as the first European surgeon outside of the UK to outfit an animal with new limbs, Mashable reports.
"He's doing surprisingly well so far," Zlatinov said of Pooh with his new bionic hind legs, according to Shareably. "Pooh can move freely on flat surfaces -- walking, running, even making small jumps... What's important is that he doesn't seem to be in pain."
The veterinary clinic housed the recovering cat for several months before finding him a loving home to begin his new life. Thanks to technological advancements and Zlatinov's bold gamble, the remarkable feline can strut his stuff once again.
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"We're very proud," Zlatinov told Reuters. "It was quite a success ... It gives hope to other patients."
The Bulgarian surgeon has not wasted any time -- since outfitting Pooh with new legs, he has already given a kitten named Steven a new bionic paw.
Animal rescuers across the globe have been finding innovative ways to make injured critters whole again, such as 3-D printing. In Brazil, the volunteer group Animal Avengers designed and printed a new beak for a greylag goose named Vitoria, National Geographic reports.
Whether it is with 3-D printing or bionic limbs, animals that have been maimed are getting more opportunities to live mobile and healthy lives. The technology would not matter if it weren't for dedicated human beings determined to make a difference.