Fighting animal cruelty in LatAm, one tweet at a time

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Veterinarian Carmen Soto treats a toucan that lost the upper half of his beak after being attacked by youths, on February 4, 2015San José (AFP) – Veterinarian Carmen Soto is gently swabbing what is left of Grecia the toucan’s bright beak, preparing to fit him with a prosthesis to replace the part hacked off by vandals. The images of the bird’s mutilated red-and-yellow beak caused outrage last month in Costa Rica, where donations for a prosthesis came pouring in after his story went viral on social media — a new weapon in the fight against the age-old problem of animal cruelty in Latin America. Appalled citizens sent in $3,000 to outfit Grecia with a prosthetic beak after a gang of rowdy youths attacked the bird, which activists say is a sort of half-wild, half-tame mascot for the central town of Grecia. A similar case shook Honduras in January, when a group of young people blew up a stray dog with fireworks and posted a video online.