Valley alligator with prosthetic tail to appear on PBS

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by 3TV

Video report by Heidi Goitia

Posted on April 9, 2014 at 11:46 AM

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The work of the Phoenix Herpetological Society and Valley scientists will be featured on the nationally acclaimed Nature program on April 9 and on pbs.org.

The program features the work of PHS, Core Institute and Midwestern University professor Dr. Justin Georgi to design a replacement tail for an alligator known as "Mr. Stubbs."

The episode, entitled "My Bionic Pet," is scheduled to air April 9 at 7 p.m. locally on Eight HD, KAET-TV.

The show profiles a variety of animals, their owners or caregivers and the prosthetists who are giving injured or malformed animals a second chance at life. The field of animal prosthetics is fairly recent and those involved in it are often breaking new ground to try to help their "patients."  The documentary notes that, many times, it takes trial and error to reach a solution, as in the case of Mr. Stubbs, whose tail was bitten off by a larger alligator.

Thanks to the prosthetic tail, Mr. Stubbs is learning to swim and move like a real alligator. Russ Johnson, President of PHS, has been working with the animal for several months to teach him to maneuver in and under the water as he would with a natural tail.

VIDEO: "Mr. Stubbs" Alligator with Prosthetic Tail Learns to Swim

RELATED: Alligator enjoying normal life thanks to prosthetic tail

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