Yu, a 25-year-old female loggerhead turtle was found and pulled from a fishing net that washed ashore on the southern part of Shikoku Japan in 2008. This poor turtle had lost one third of her right limb and half her left limb by the time she was rescued. It was believed to be a shark attack that caused the loss.
For the past 5 years, researches have been developing artificial limbs that would allow Yu to swim back to normal. She was fitted with 26 kinds of prosthetics over the years, but none ever fit. They either fell off quickly or caused the pain for the turtle.
But recently on 11 Feb 2013, a new rubber limb technology was used and attached perfectly to the turtle. Since then, the turtle has been able to swim smoothly and normally like before.
The latest artificial flippers were made from rubber and wet suit material. The aquarium curator, Naoki Kamezaki, said that they have worked hard to design the vest in a way that prevents the turtle from taking the artificial limbs off unwittingly. It can flutter its limbs freely as the vest is soft.
Isn’t this animal-friendly technology at its best?