Nothing fake about Winter's flips

An injured dolphin has been fitted with an artificial rubber tail, reports

Winter, a two-year-old bottlenose, lost her real tail fin after she became tangled in a crab trap at sea.

The device, made by experts at a human prosthetic limbs firm, includes a silicone sleeve that fits over her stump and a titanium joint.

Kevin Carroll, vice-president of fake limbs experts Hanger Prosthetics and Orthotics, said: "Some people say it's crazy to do this. But if you have an animal and it's injured, why not nurse it back to health?"

Winter was rescued off the Florida coast. She was so badly hurt that vets had to amputate her tail fin, reports the Mirror.

After recovering at a local aquariam she devised a unique swimming style that was a cross between an alligator and shark.

However, experts decided on the step of fitting her with an artificial fin amid fears that her unnatural swimming motion would eventually damage her spine.

She is now learning to swim again at the marine centre in Clearwater, Florida, with her new flipper.

It will have to be regularly redesigned every few years as she grows bigger. -

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