Mr. Stubbs Gets A New Tail
By Jill Harness
We often hear stories of dolphins, eagles, bunnies, sea turtles and other cute animals getting prosthetics. But what about the animals that might gladly bite your hand off if given a chance? The folks running the Phoenix Herpetological Society think even those creatures deserve the restorative technology, which is why they have worked hard to find a way to fit their short-tailed resident, Mr. Stubbs, with a prosthetic that will allow him to move and swim like others of his kind.
Mr. Stubbs lost his tail back in 2005, when another alligator chomped it off. Since then, Stubbs has gotten along just fine by learning to doggy paddle in the water, but after being inspired by the movie Dolphin Tale, his keepers thought they could improve his life by making him the first ever alligator-tail prosthetic. After a few failed attempts, their current design seems to be comfortable for the patient.
While the gator is still learning to use his new appendage to swim (the floaty will only be there until he learns to use the tail to help him glide through the water), he already looks quite comfortable dragging it behind him while on land.