Change Region...

Discovery Press Web United States

Animal Planet

Choose Network...


Animal Planet Presents Shares the Story of the Toucan Who Ignited a Global Movement for Animal Welfare by Award-Winning Filmmaker Paula Heredia

June 10, 2016

Contact - Nicole VanderPloeg
Director, Publicity
Contact - Paul Schur
Group VP, Communications

Animal Planet Presents will premiere TOUCAN NATION, the story of Grecia, the toucan in Costa Rica whose unconscionable abuse sparked international outrage and inspired a national animal welfare campaign, on August 24 at 10 PM ET/PT. Seeking to right a wrong and improve the life of this helpless bird after half of his beak was torn from his face, animal rescuers and veterinarians enlist a team of volunteer experts tasked with replacing Grecia’s beak as Costa Ricans rally to implement penalties for animal cruelty.

Directed by Prime Time Emmy®-winning filmmaker Paula Heredia (“In Memoriam: New York City, 9/11/01”), TOUCAN NATION chronicles each step of the journey as the Zooaveanimal refuge center works to improve Grecia’s life. The film includes Charles W. Hull of 3D Systems, known as the father of 3D printing, who collaborates with a group of Costa Rican product designers, dentists and engineers on the best design and construction for Grecia’s prosthetic beak.

“What happened to this beautiful bird was horrific,” says John Hoffman, EVP Documentaries and Specials for Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, and Science Channel.  “But this atrocity inspired people to work together to save an animal's life. We are proud to present this moving story and hope it sparks a larger conversation about animal welfare.”

Paula Heredia said, "It gives me hope when I see people who believe they can change the world and take it upon themselves to right a wrong -- through technology, activism and the law." She added, “Animal Planet is a great home for this film.”

Motivated by the notion that every life -- whether animal or human -- is inherently valuable and must be protected, school children and a committed group of animal rights activists wage a battle to highlight animal cruelty in their country and transform the penal code. TOUCAN NATION showcases both the children and the activists as they create a petition for Costa Rica’s President Luis Guillermo Solís to bring the Animal Welfare bill in front of Congress.

Animal Planet Presents features the best of blue-chip documentaries and films from top filmmakers that explore a wide range of topics which provide a unique lens on the world we share with our animal counterparts. TOUCAN NATION is presented in association with Humane Society International and H/3 Foundation.

TOUCAN NATION is produced for Animal Planet by Heredia Pictures where Paula Heredia serves as the film’s director. For H/3 Foundation, Spencer B. Haber serves as executive producer. For Animal Planet, John Hoffman is executive producer and Alexandra Moss is the film’s supervising producer.

About Animal Planet

Animal Planet, a multi-media business unit of Discovery Communications, is the network of hit franchise series RIVER MONSTERSPIT BULLS & PAROLEES and TREEHOUSE MASTERS and the home of provocative and award-winning specials and documentary films presented under the banner ANIMAL PLANET PRESENTS. Animal Planet's programming also includes quarterly tentpole TV events PUPPY BOWL, the largest non-sports TV on Super Bowl Sunday, and MONSTER WEEK. Animal Planet is the premier TV, digital and social community for animal lovers and pet owners, providing immersive, engaging, high-quality entertainment across all Animal Planet assets including: Animal Planet television network, available in more than 94 million homes in the US, that is complemented by a deep Video On Demand offering; online assets, the ultimate online destination for all things animal; Animal Planet L!VE, the go-to digital destination for round-the-clock, unfiltered access to the animal kingdom; Animal Planet social including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. 

About Discovery Communications

Discovery Communications (Nasdaq: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) is the leader in global entertainment reaching 3 billion cumulative viewers in more than 220 countries and territories. Discovery satisfies curiosity, entertains and inspires viewers with high-quality content through global brands, led by Discovery Channel, TLC, Investigation Discovery, Animal Planet, Science and Turbo/Velocity, as well as U.S. joint venture network OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, and through the Discovery Digital Networks portfolio, including Seeker and SourceFed. Discovery owns Eurosport, the leading pan-regional sports entertainment destination across Europe and Asia-Pacific. Discovery also is a leading provider of educational products and services to schools, including an award-winning series of K-12 digital textbooks, through Discovery Education. For more information, please visit

About H/3 Foundation

Founded by Spencer Haber in 2014, the H/3 Foundation Inc. is a non-profit organization committed to identifying and combating the fundamental causes of animal suffering.  As part of its global mission, H/3 is actively engaged in the development and production of documentary film and related media projects relating to animal welfare and associated environmental issues.  The Foundation also focuses on grant-making for first responders and researchers, issues-based advocacy, and the development and sponsorship of educational programs and curricula for the ethical and humane treatment of animals. 

About Humane Society International

For more than 25 years, Humane Society International has been protecting animals through the use of science, advocacy, education and hands-on programs around the globe.  HSI is one of the only international organizations in the world working to protect all animals—including animals in laboratories, farm animals, companion animals, and wildlife—and our record of achievement demonstrates our dedication and effectiveness.