Surgeon Makes Back Brace... for Whale

Rescued SeaWorld pilot whale has scoliosis

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 15, 2011 6:35 PM CST

(Newser) – A whale nicknamed “300” beached herself in the Florida Keys this spring—but her troubles didn't end there. The pilot whale, transported to SeaWorld for care, developed curvature of the spine, which prevented her from using her tail correctly. Fortunately, an orthopedic surgeon and a prosthetics expert came to the rescue, custom-making a back brace for the creature, the Orlando Sentinel reports. It’s the first time such a device has been made for a large whale, SeaWorld says. Now, 300 is getting physical therapy three times a day as vets monitor her. “She has a fantastic attitude,” says one. The brace may help avoid surgery.

A frame grab from YouTube video of SeaWorld.   (YouTube)
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SeaWorld video shows workers giving the pilot whale physical therapy.   (YouTube)

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