Allison The Bionic Turtle

Jeff George, the curator at the nonprofit Sea Turtle Inc. holds Allison, a three-year-old Atlantic Green sea turtle in South Padre Island, Texas. Allison lost three of her flippers to a predator attack and is being evaluated for experimental prosthesis for a rear flipper.

some excerpts from the article…

“SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, Texas – When tourists found a 5-inch green sea turtle bloody and missing three of her flippers, the people who run a hospital for the endangered animals here gave her little chance of survival. But the turtle persevered, thanks to injections of antibiotics and a forced diet of squid. Somehow, she swam with just one flipper, even though she can only move in counterclockwise circles and has to push her now 10-pound body off the bottom with her head to breathe.”

“Now, her caregivers hope to make her what’s believed to be the first sea turtle fitted with a prosthetic flipper. Three-flipper turtles can return to the sea and two-flipper turtles can survive in captivity. But those left with only one after predator attacks or run-ins with boat propellers are usually killed.”

“University of Texas’ Dr. Sudarat Kiat-amnuay plans to develop a prosthetic using the same kind of silicon she uses to create facial prosthetics for humans. Her dental expertise helps because the kind of tiny hardware used in dental implants are probably the best size match for Allison’s bones.”


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

allison dunphy (not kidding) lol June 25, 2008 at 3:42 pm

i am so happy for this turtle,not only because her name is allison,and even spelled the same way as mine,but because,she survived something she wasn’t meant to survive…i hope her new flippers will work so well that she can go back to the ocean..that is what she deserves..i wonder if that was a boat accident or an attack on her from another sea animal,or someone human did that to her???that would break my heart,because i know that there are people out there sick enough to do things like that…if someone can write me back at my e-mail address and let me know how allison made out i would greatly appreciate it…

thank you,
you are great people,
~ allison

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