Hasan Kızıl made a name for himself as a "life repairer" for his work to help animals that have lost limbs or were born with deformities. Using whatever material he has, 27-year-old Kızıl, who hails from the southeastern Turkish province of Mardin, designs prosthetic legs and feet for animals of different breeds. A recipient of Turkey's "Benevolence Awards," Kızıl is nowadays engaged in a new project tapping into technology.
He says he is working on electroencephalogram (EEG) biosensor for a 4-month-old cat unable to move her legs due to a birth defect. The sensor, which will be implanted in the cat's head, will allow her to send signals from her brain to control the movement of her legs. The EEG is already used in brain-computer interface technologies, such as communication for paralyzed patients.
For Kızıl, it will be the next step in prosthetic limb production as he long relied on scrap parts, such as toys wheels he collected himself, to help the animals – from animal survivors of road accidents to wild animals injured by hunters.
So far, he has attached prosthetic limbs to 800 animals, from dogs to eagles, across Turkey and also designed prosthetic horns for rhinoceros in African countries. During last summer's wildfires in southern Turkey, he saved around 200 animals from the engulfing flames. "I go anywhere in Turkey, wherever an animal is in need. I gave prosthetic limbs to 800 animals, and I count them as part of me. So, I have now 800 lives," he said.
Kızıl said he looks for animals suffering from disabilities wherever he goes. "My search took me to a squirrel and fox, born with a physical deformity and an eagle I found that was missing a claw after hunters shot it," he said. Kızıl's work does not only cover limbs. He has also developed a "face shield" for visually impaired dogs to keep them from hurting themselves while walking.
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