Cowabunga! Ninja Suit Helps One-Flipper Turtle Swim

Thursday, Apr 9, 2009  |  Updated 5:01 AM PDT
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Animals in the News

AP

Allison's snazzy new suit may not quite make her a hero in a half shell, but the ninja suit allows her to swim in a straight line.

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A green sea turtle that lost three of its flippers can finally swim in a straight line, turtle rescuers said Wednesday.

Workers at Sea Turtle Inc. strapped Allison, a 5-year-old rescued turtle, on Wednesday into a neoprene "ninja" suit that holds a carbon-fiber fin in place on her back.

It looks like a wetsuit covering about three-quarters of the turtle's body.

The fin acts as a rudder, allowing her to propel herself forward with her sole fin. The turtle was able to gracefully glide across a 12-foot pool along with other turtles.

The success follows failed attempts last year to fit her with a prosthetic rear flipper.

Before Wednesday, Allison could only swim in tight circles with her one good flipper.

She arrived in 2005 as a hand-size, bloodied turtle with little chance of survival. She'd lost three flippers in an apparant shark attack.

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