Here’s your daily reminder of just how awesome science is:

Meet Buttercup the duck. Buttercup was born in a high school biology lab with a backward left foot. This meant that walking was all but impossible for him, so the school gave Buttercup to the Feathered Angels Waterfowl Sanctuary. Sanctuary staff decided the best option for Buttercup was to amputate his backward foot. Even though it would create an awkward limp, he would then at least be able to walk. But wait, that wasn’t the end of Buttercup’s story:

"Several months later engineers at Novacopy stepped in to help the sanctuary develop a permanent fix. Advances in rapid prototyping technology allowed for a mold of the bird’s left foot to be printed in about 13 hours, after which a silicone prosthesis was formed and perfectly fitted to Buttercup’s leg.”

This past weekend Buttercup was fitter with his pretty new prosthetic foot, which has distinctly improved his mobility. Instead of walking with a limp, Buttercup now walks (and runs!) normally and he seems pretty pleased about it.

Visit Colossal to watch a heartwarming video of Buttercup being cheered on while taking his first steps on his new foot. There’s plenty of happy quacking involved.

Follow Buttercup’s continued progress over on Facebook.

[via Colossal]