Alligator receives prosthetic tail

'Mr. Stubbs' lost tail eight years ago

Published On: Mar 11 2013 01:19:02 PM EDT

"Mr. Stubbs" -- an American alligator -- lost his tail eight years ago. On Monday, he showed off his just-attached prosthetic tail.

Workers at the Phoenix Herpetological Society gave the 9-year-old gator a 3-foot-long prosthetic tail. It took workers more than a year to develop the tail.

"Mr. Stubbs" lost his tail when another alligator bit it off, according to the Phoenix Herpetological Society. The society's curator believes there are no reptiles in the world that have ever received a prosthetic limb like the alligator's new tail.

The curator says without a tail, "Mr. Stubbs" would be in danger of drowning. The gator was also in danger of starving because alligators store food in their tails during the winter.

Rescuers told Local 6's Phoenix affiliate KPHO they were inspired by the film Dolphin Tale, which was based on the true story of a dolphin that received a prosthetic tail.

Rescuers say "Mr. Stubbs" will need several months of training to properly use his new tail. However, the gator is already able to slightly wiggle his new limb.

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