A DISABLED turtle got his first taste of life underwater thanks to a prosthetic flipper.
Rocky was fitted with the custom-made limb after spending close to two decades struggling to swim underwater.
The green sea turtle, aged between 25 and 30, was hit by a boat as a young adult which resulted in him losing his front right flipper and suffering shell damage.
It meant he could no longer swim in straight lines or go underwater, resulting in him being rescued by the aquarium.
Prosthetist Kevin Carroll heard the tragic tale and enlisted his team at the Hanger Clinic to build Rocky a special false limb.
After taking Rocky’s measurements Kevin and his team set to work taking ‘great caution in looking at the entire anatomy and alignment of Rocky’s body and looking at the dynamics of the flipper’.
Heartwarming footage shows the sea turtle being released into the water at Key West Aquarium in Florida, USA, for the first time after being fitted with the flipper.
Kevin, who usually treats human patients, said: ‘We put so much focus into making sure the prosthetic was correct so once he got into the water it was a wow moment.
‘Before he got into the water he had great control over the flipper so I was thrilled with that.
‘It was just amazing. It was absolutely breathtaking’.
Rocky now undergoes regular physical therapy to help him adapt to his new limb and is no longer swimming in circles.
Kevin added: ‘I usually work with humans and I just worked with a child who had this great energy and a wonderful spirit.
‘I find that with turtles they have an energy about them, a willingness to work with you.
‘If they could talk, I think they would be saying, “Let’s do this”. It’s incredible to see.’