Bites at Animal Planet

29 May

Amputee Sea Turtle Gets Second Chance With Jet Fighter Fins


Hofesh's new fins enables him to swim and float. (Photo from Ariel Schalit/AP)

Just call this sea turtle Maverick! Thanks to some good Samaritans and a little military ingenuity, an amputee green sea turtle can swim again with the help of artificial fins.

A bad encounter with a fishing net cost Hofesh (which means “freedom” in English) his two left flippers, leaving him unable to lift his head and breathe, according to the Huffington Post. But with a little help from Israeli design student, Shlomi Gez, and the team at the Israel Turtle Rescue Center, Hofesh can now swim and balance with a pair of artificial fins built specifically for him.

What makes the fins even cooler is the inspiration behind them: Gez says he designed them after a F-22 Raptor fighter jet! The all-natural fins are still a work in progress, as the team continues to find ways to make them stronger. If they were to come off of Hofesh, the sea turtle would sink and drown.

Hofesh will never return to the sea due to his condition, according to the Huffington Post. He will spend the rest of his life at Israel Turtle Rescue Center, where he will be used for breeding in the aid of conserving his species, which is endangered.

Want to learn more about the sea turtle? Check out sea turtle pictures and video over at!

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