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Last Updated: Sunday July 19 2009 13:27 GMT

Fake flippers help turtle swim

Turtle swims again with fake fippers

A turtle whose front flippers were ripped apart in the wild is learning to swim again with an artificial pair.

Yu-Chan the loggerhead turtle was found off the coast of Japan with a large part of her front flippers missing, making it hard for her to get around.

While experts treated Yu-Chan's wounds, researchers spent months trying to create a fake pair of flippers for her.

Now she's getting used to them and it's hoped she will one day be strong enough to be released back into the ocean.

Yasushi Matsuda, who works for a company that makes artificial limbs for humans, created the fake flippers using a stainless steel frame and flexible resin sheets.

He said the hardest part was getting them to stay on and he's still working on perfecting the design.