Arizona alligator learns to swim with new prosthetic tail - FOX 10 News | myfoxphoenix.com

Arizona alligator learns to swim with new prosthetic tail

Posted: Updated:
Mr. Stubbs with prosthetic tail Mr. Stubbs with prosthetic tail
Mr. Stubbs without tail Mr. Stubbs without tail
PHOENIX -

An alligator in Arizona is learning to swim again after receiving a prosthetic tail.

"Mr. Stubbs" was missing his tail before he was rescued by Phoenix Herpetological Society. They say he probably lost it after another alligator bit it off.

Without a tail, Mr. Stubbs could only dog paddle and was in danger of drowning in his pond.

After hearing about Mr. Stubbs, Dr. Marc Jacofsky and his research associate Sarah Jarvis decided to try creating a prosthetic tail for him.

Researchers from The CORE Institute and Midwestern University worked with alligator specimens to work out the appropriate size of tail for Mr. Stubbs.

The prosthesis is covered in Dragon Skin, a lightweight, flexible silicone material used for special effects and animatronics in movies, in addition to prosthetics.

A harness system was created to keep the tail on Mr. Stubbs' body without creating pressure points, discomfort or eventual skin breakdown.

The tale has already improved the alligator's movement, but Mr. Stubbs is still adjusting to swimming with the tail.

"After almost eight years, we need to 'unteach' him the dog paddle, so he can swim like a normal alligator," said Russ Johnson, spokesperson for PHS.

Powered by WorldNow

KSAZ-TV & KUTP
511 W. Adams St.
Phoenix, AZ 85003

Phone: (602) 257-1234
Fax: (602) 262-0177

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices