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Alligator Fitted With New Prosthetic Tail
An Arizona alligator who had his tail bitten off eight years ago has been given a new prosthetic one by his keepers in Arizona.
Seven-foot long Mr Stubbs was one of 32 alligators confiscated from the back of a truck pulled over near Casa Grande in 2005.
His tail is believed to have been chewed off by another of the animals.
Mr Stubbs was given to the Phoenix Herpetological Society and now sports a 3ft-long prosthetic attachment.
It was crafted from silicone rubber by a team from the CORE Institute in Phoenix, which ordinarily specialises in orthopaedic care for humans.
It had to be buoyant and also flexible, to allow Mr Stubbs to wiggle it and help him move through the water.
"It was just a process of figuring out how make a mould and then getting a mould and then playing with the material," Sarah Jarvis from CORE told KPNX-TV.
"I made some little models and figured out that it would be pretty good for the full tail," she added.
It will take months, however, before Mr Stubbs learns how to properly use the tail.
For now, his handlers are happy with smaller milestones, such as not trying to bite off the new attachment.
They might also need to come up with a new nickname.
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