Handicapped Loggerhead Turtle Gets Rubber Flippers

Handicapped Loggerhead Turtle Gets Rubber Flippers

Injured in 2008 after being attacked by a shark, a loggerhead turtle lost both of its front flippers. She was then rescued by Japanese fishermen and is presently at an aquarium in Japan's western city of Kobe.

The keepers at the place said that when the turtle was rescued, she had shredded flippers and was bleeding badly. Now, she is handicapped and the curators at the aquarium are getting the turtle prosthetic flippers.

Recently, she has been given 27th pair of prosthetic flippers to move ahead in the waters. The 96 kilogram turtle was initially supposed to be sent back to wild waters after recovery. However, the plans were dropped and she was given those flippers to roam around the aquarium waters.

Naoki Kamezaki, a curator of Suma Aqualife Park where the turtle is kept since her injury, said that according to him, it was the only successful case of prosthetics given to a turtle. She is named `Yu Chan' by the keepers at the facility.

"We have worked hard to design the vest in a way that prevents the turtle from taking it off unwittingly. It can flutter the limbs as the vest is soft", commented Kamezaki about the vest that fits over Yu to which flippers are attached.

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