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2020-02-18 08:41:13资讯 554620

Dolphin with a bionic fin has helped the injuredShe does backflips and cheekily splashes visitors to her tank just like any other dolphin at the aquarium. But Winter is a little bit special. She lost her tail in a crab trap when she was a baby... and now shoots through the water with the help of a prosthetic one, specially engineered for her by scientists. And now the incredible story of her rescue and survival has been turned into a film - with Winter herself taking the starring

role alongside Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd and Harry Connick Jr in Dolphin Tale. Winters story began five years ago when fisherman Jim Savage went out on a freezing cold December morning off the coast of New Smyrna Beach, Florida. It was still dark when Jim, who is played by Connick Jr in the film, spotted a baby bottlenose entangled in a trap and fig

hting to breathe. Jim, who runs a car repair business, grabbed a knife to cut the mammal free from several thick ropes. I thought shed swim off and Id have a sweet f

ishermans tale to tell later in the day, he said. But she couldnt get away, she was squealing in pain and obviously horribly injured. Jim called the wildlife authorities, who told him they would send out a marine biologist. He says: I waited two, maybe three hours, so I kept talking to the dolphin. Id say, Youre going to be OK, no ones going to hurt you. She let me get close and her heart was pumping, her breathing was laboured. She was terrified. Her mother had gone, and without her to feed her I didnt think shed survive. One of the ropes was still caught in her mouth, she was terribly badly injured. When marine biologist Theresa Mazza arrived, she then sat for five hours in sh

allow water with Winter while they waited for a marine ambulance. When we first got close she was squealing in pain and freaking out, she says. But once I had her in the shallow water, she lay with her head in my lap. I kept splashing her and tried to shade her from the sun to stop her burning. She had cuts on her tail and mouth. Most animals we respond to are sick beyond help, so you try not to get too emotionally involved. But this was my first rescue mission out of college, I was 23, and I talked to her, telling her shed be OK. Winter was taken to Clearwater Marine Aquarium, where the injuries to her tail were so severe it had to be amputated. Bu

t she was remarkably resilient, and defied all expectations. After the operation she learned to swim again, changing her tails movement from up and down to sid

e to side. But aquarium staff wanted her to have as normal a life as possible, so they turned to Irish scientist Kevin Carroll, 53, and his partner Dan Strzempka, who run a company in Florida making prosthetic

s for human amputees. Touched by Winters plight the

y agreed to try to make a false tail for the dolphin. Kevin, who emigrated from Tipperary 28 years ago, and Dan, who lost his leg in a lawn mower accident when he was four, rose to the challenge, working in their spare time, spending 150,000 of their companys money on prototypes. In the end it took 18 months to perfect a two-andhalf-foot long silicon tail. We werent quite sure what to expect, said Kevin. Here we were trying to put a prosthetic tail on a wild animal. Id worked on dogs and birds but it hadnt been done on a dolphin before. With humans you create a long solid bone to rest the limb in. But Winters tail needed to move in multiple directions. We must have done 50 prototypes before we got it right. Their work kept them in regular contact with Winter, and they became very attached. Kevin says: Winter has a great personality and you could tell she was very appreciative. Winter, who wears the fake fluke for only a few hours a day and wouldnt survive in the wild, needs new tails as she grows. She is still getting us

ed to her latest model and needs physical therapy. Her keepers spend hours massaging her tail muscles. And her treatment has produced an unexpected benefit for humans. Kevin says: Dolphin skin is very delicate a

nd the prosthetic irritated the wound, so we developed a protective gel for her. As our human patients heard about Winter they asked about the gel. Now soldiers who have lost limbs

in Iraq and Afghanistan are using the same gel. It just goes to show we can learn so much from animals and this is a small payback. One soldier who has benefited from Winters story is Brian Kolfage, who lost both legs and his right hand in a mortar attack in Iraq. Brian, 22 at the time, tried out two different leg prosthetics but had a severe skin reaction. Kevin decided to experiment with the gel he had developed for Winter, using it to pad the irritated area between Brians new leg and pelvic area. In what Kevin calls a big breakthrough the substance relieved Brians discomfort.

Brian, now 25 and working for Air Force security in Tucson, Arizona, began walking again. I really didnt think it would work... but it was perfect, he says. One of Winters other fans is Hannah Jenkins, 12, who lives in Libertyville, Illinois and was born without no left hand or forearm. After meeting the young dolphin, Hannah said: Winter survived without a tail and is learning how to swim like other dolphins. I can relate to her because of my disability. Winter helps people to know they can also survive. And now Winters incredible story will reach millions when the film opens in October. Winter is about to become the most famous animal in the world, said David Yates, the director of the aquarium in Clearwater, Florida. She shouldnt have lived, yet she has inspired everyone from tiny kids to 85-year-olds. One early visitor was rescuer Jim, who was overjoyed to be reunited with his pal. I gave her a big kiss on the nose and told her shed become a diva, Jim says. I am so glad I saw her that morning - shes an inspiration. How the amazing fake was created Prosthetics experts Kevin carroll and Dan strzempka began by making casts to monitor Winters growth and shape, and to provide the mould for her tail. First they made a liner for her lower trunk that fitted like a sock over the stump. the prosthesis then grips tightly on to this. Winter was then fitted with a silicone and plastic tail which is 2.5ft long. This most recent design allows the tail to swing up and down, replicating a dolphins natural swimming motion.