Alligator swims with prosthetic tail

March 11, 2013

History was made this week at the Phoenix Herpetological Society when an alligator swam with a prosthetic tail for the first time. President of the society, Russ Johnson says the tail will enable the gator to walk and swim like the rest of his predatory kin, but it may take some time for the gator to adjust.

alligator Mr. Stubbs swims with a floatie on his tail temporarily while he “relearns” how to swim with a tail and strengthens the muscles that control the tail movement. (Photo by Wendy Cassidy/Phoenix Herpetological Society)

“Now we have to un-teach him to use his front legs so he’ll use his tail,” Johnson said. “So, we’re getting some motion out the tail and he’s getting used to the weight. It’s kind of funny, the tail is the right weight but he’s not used to carrying it so we have a little child’s floatie on it.”

Johnson says this could very well become an international event since it is the first time in history this type of reptile has received a prosthetic tail.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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