A sea turtle survived a shark attack and learned to swim again with artificial flippers. Yu, a 25-year-old loggerhead turtle, was caught in a net in 2008. Both of her front flippers had been ripped off, leaving her unable to swim. Thankfully for Yu, some animal lovers found rescued her and took her to the Suma Aqualife Park.
The loggerhead turtle underwent a lengthy recovery at the aquatic park near Kobe, Japan, Science World Report notes. As her condition improved, Yu was fitted with artificial flippers. The process of using prosthetic “limbs” on animals is a relatively new concept.
Winter, an injured Florida dolphin, is perhaps one of the first and most famous such cases. A movie made about the Clear Water dolphin highlighted the trial and error involved with using artificial limbs on mammals. Just like Winter, Yu had to learn how to swim with the artificial limb or face a very grim future.
Researchers at the Suma Aqualife Park attached 27 pairs of artificial flippers to Yu’s little stumps during the sea turtle’s recovery phase. The experts at the Kobe park used crafted a soft vest with the attacked rubber flippers, ABC News reports.
The loggerhead turtle was ultimately able to move about in the water freely in her vest. Yu is now swimming around her enclosure with ease and drawing huge smiles from visitors.
The sea turtles routinely travel thousands of miles in search of food and follow established migration patterns. Loggerhead turtles are an endangered species. The graceful creatures are reportedly very sensitive of the Earth’s magnetic field and use their sense to navigate back to their birthplace and to the beach to lay eggs.
[Image Via: Shutterstock.com]