The Phoenix Herpetological Society is full of reptiles, but one really stands out. He's a 9-year-old alligator named Mr. Stubs.
"In the world of alligators, they are cannibalistic so a larger alligator tried to make a meal out of Mr. Stubs," said curator Daniel Marchand.
The meaning behind his moniker is pretty clear, the poor guy's tail turned into that bigger gator's snack. He's lived without that important limb for years, which means Mr. Stubs can't swim.
"His body just spins around in the water so he just churns up a lot of water, doesn't go anywhere forward," Marchand said.
"If there are other alligators with him, of course without a tail, he'd be the last one to the dinner table," he said.
Since gators store food in their tails during the winter time, Mr. Stubs is out of luck there too.
"We have to be careful that he doesn't basically starve to death in a sense because that tail only supplies obviously very little food," Marchand said.
So after years of just dealing with the hand their were dealt, workers found a little cinematic inspiration. The movie Dolphin Tale is based on the true story of a dolphin that got a prosthetic tail. It seemed logical Mr. Stubs would benefit from the same technology.
"As far as we know, as of today there are no reptiles in the world that have ever received a prosthetic limb of any kind," Marchand said.
There's a first time for everything, so doctors have been measuring Mr. Stubs and figuring out how to make this work for about a year.
"And through X-rays, we found out that there is enough backbone there," Marchand said.
Now it's a matter of building the flexible, water friendly appendage to propel Mr. Stubs to the front of the dinner line. Mr. Stubs is expected to live for another 60 years or so, and he'll get much bigger, so chances are he'll need more than one prosthetic tail in his lifetime.
It's all paid for by donations, so if you'd like to help Mr. Stubs or any of the other reptiles at the Phoenix Herpetological Society just click here.
Copyright 2012 CBS 5 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Friday, May 24 2013 12:22 PM EDT2013-05-24 16:22:29 GMT
James Hutto interrupted his own capital murder trial Tuesday morning, angry that judge Bill Gowan decided against the admissibility of certain evidence. "None of that matters? F***. I don't give a f***More >>
A capital murder case defendant, known for his abrasive outbursts and odd behavior in court, entered court Friday morning with a limp. James Hutto told Judge Bill Gowan that he needed to be excused for the day because the shackles on his legs had been irritating his skin. More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 12:56 PM EDT2013-05-24 16:56:47 GMT
Robert Nikita Shegog, a former Jackson police officer is facing federal bribery charges. Court documents show that Shegog is charged with demanding and accepting bribes valued at more th an $5,000 betweenMore >>
Robert Nikita Shegog, a former Jackson police officer, is facing federal bribery charges. Court documents show that Shegog is charged with demanding and accepting bribes valued at more than $5,000 between December 2009 and September 2010.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 10:33 AM EDT2013-05-24 14:33:13 GMT
A battle of words from the attorneys representing Jackson Police Officer Terrance Crump and Shane Patrick. Crump's attorney Warren Martin says Patrick yelled racial slurs when walking out of the store.More >>
A battle of words from the attorneys representing Jackson Police Officer Terrance Crump and Shane Patrick has sparked after both parties claim they were the victim in a fight at an Edwards gas station. More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 6:45 PM EDT2013-05-23 22:45:01 GMT
(WMC-TV) - A baby fights to survive at Le Bonheur Children's Hospital in critical condition after being hit by an SUV with his mother behind the wheel, according to police. An orange circle marks the pointMore >>
A baby fights to survive at Le Bonheur Children's Hospital in critical condition after being hit by an SUV with his mother behind the wheel, according to police.More >>
Friday, May 24 2013 11:44 AM EDT2013-05-24 15:44:25 GMT
TAMPA, FL (WTSP/CNN) – Authorities in Tampa, FL, made a startling discovery during a foreclosure eviction. Police found 66-year-old James Hopkins living on the property that belonged to someone else. TheyMore >>
Authorities in Tampa, FL, made a startling discovery during a foreclosure eviction.More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 9:13 PM EDT2013-05-24 01:13:14 GMT
Two elementary school girls were allegedly sexually assaulted by another female student. One incident happening while the two girls were at school. Two mothers are now speaking out about their daughters.More >>
Two Jackson mothers are speaking out after they say their daughters were sexually assaulted by another female student. One of the incidents allegedly happened at school.More >>
A New Jersey company that operates 13 TGI Fridays restaurants accused of secretly replacing premium liquor with low-quality booze says it's shocked at the allegations.More >>
At one bar, a mixture that included rubbing alcohol and caramel coloring was sold as scotch. In another, premium liquor bottles were refilled with water - and apparently not even clean water at that.More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 7:05 PM EDT2013-05-23 23:05:30 GMT
A Jackson Public School district principal has had her license suspended for one year. Dr. Lisa Andrus-Johnson is the principal at Watkins Elementary school.A spokesperson for the Mississippi DepartmentMore >>
A Jackson Public School district principal has had her license suspended for one year. Dr. Lisa Andrus-Johnson is the principal at Watkins Elementary school.More >>
WLBT 3 - Fox 40
715 South Jefferson Street
Jackson, Mississippi 39201