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Oddly Enough

Disabled turtle gets new chance for life with designer fin

Thursday, April 10, 2014 - 01:34

Endangered green sea turtle could breed thanks to student's innovation. Sasha Salama reports.

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An endangered green sea turtle, named Freedom, is anything but free. He can't survive in the sea because he lost his left flippers four years ago after getting tangled in a fishing net. But at a rescue center north of Tel Aviv, Freedom meets Shlomo Gez, an industrial design student, who's giving the injured turtle a second chance. Freedom is lifted out of his tank and carefully brought inside where Gez attaches an artificial fin to Freedom's back. (SOUNDBITE) (English) DESIGNER OF PROSTHETIC FIN SHLOMI GEZ SAYING: "It's based on fish biomimicry, in fish the back fin of the fish it does just balance." Freedom's shell must be completely dry before the new prosthetic fin is glued into place. The turtle's caregivers say that finding just the right solution is a work in progress. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MANAGER OF TURTLE RESCUE CENTRE, YANIV LEVY, SAYING: "There's still a long way but it's getting better and better and I can say today that when he has the fins on him, he's much calmer, he doesn't get into panic, he doesn't have any problems anymore." In fact, Freedom is dating. The hope is he will mate with Tzurit, a turtle who also can't be released into the wild because she lost her eyesight in a boating accident. Both are in their 20s, which is considered young in turtle years, since green sea turtles usually live more than 80 years.

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Disabled turtle gets new chance for life with designer fin

Thursday, April 10, 2014 - 01:34