Goody the sea turtle has every reason to feel good! That’s because the crippled turtle, who lost her left flipper after getting stuck in a fishing net years ago, finally got a prosthetic flipper that allowed her to swim again.
Watch to learn more of Goody’s story below!
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Video credit: Rumble
The prosthetic flipper was Thailand’s first and was the product of a cooperative agreement between Thai environment authorities and a team at Bangkok’s Chulalongkorn University. Reuters news agency reported that the team took about a year to develop the sea turtle prosthesis.
Although this may be the first prosthetic flipper in Thailand, other countries had already developed similar prosthetic flippers in order to help sea turtles in their respective territories. In 2014, Israel fitted a badly injured green sea turtle with a new flipper that took design inspiration from a fighter jet’s wing.
When Goody got injured, she joined other injured turtles in captivity. It was difficult for Goody to swim using only her right flipper but according to Nantarika Chansue, a veterinarian at the rescue center, the new prosthetic has really helped. Incidentally, Chansue helped create Goody’s prosthetic flipper. “You can see the difference,” she said.
“She’s swimming much better and she’s learning to use the two flippers to turn,” Chansue added. “She knows that she can turn right by using that flipper.”
Olive ridley turtles are a threatened species, meaning that there is a high likelihood that they will become endangered in the near future.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration say that because the animals frequently get caught in lines, nets, trawls, and other equipment, such fishing gear are significant hazards. Other threats to the species include ocean pollution, boat propellers as well as people who kill adult turtles to harvest their eggs.
Aside from Goody, ten other turtles at the rescue facility have similar injuries so they may benefit from prosthetic flippers.
Chansue clarified that Goody’s new flipper still won’t allow her to return to the wild but it will at least improve her quality of life in captivity.
“We are trying to develop some of the best ones ever created in the world,” she said.