Smaug The Komodo Dragon Gets A Prosthetic Leg

Don't mind me, my eyes just got a little misty mountain

Smaug Eats An Egg

Smaug Eats An Egg

Screenshot by author, from YouTube

In Houston, there lives a dragon. Strong of spirit, species of komodo, this dragon was also weak of body. After spotting Smaug walking in an unusual manner, zookeepers made the dragon a paw prosthetic, because nothing in the universe is greater than a cyborg dragon[citation needed].

Smaug's prosthetic was made with help from the Orthotics and Prosthetics Program at Baylor College of Medicine. Jared Howell, director of the program, said in a statement about Smaug:

“When a Komodo dragon picks up its foot, it slides forward and they fire their muscles and they are able to put their palm downward. What happened for Smaug is that he wasn’t able to fire his muscles to pull the foot forward, so as he picked up his shoulder to pull the foot forward, it stayed in the flex position and then he would land on it and roll his wrist underneath every single time he took a step,” said Howell. “He’s over 200 pounds, so that’s a lot of weight going onto that hand.”

The researchers took casts of Smaug and then fitted him with a pair of flexible devices, letting Smaug relearn to walk on his palm again. With the devices, Smaug joins the club of amputee cat Oscar and Derby, the dog with 3-D printed legs. It is a cool club.

Watch a video of Smaug eating an ostrich egg below. At about 50 seconds, you can see Smaug place his right knuckles down instead of his palm. Hopefully with his prosthetic, the next time he gets an Easter ostrich treat, he’ll be able to eat it properly: