The researchers who made these prosthetic fins for Yu Chan are working on another, even more comfortable version (this is her 27th pair). I feel bad for her that she’s apparently lost her freedom, but it looks like the folks that are working for her are trying to get her to a place where she would be more able to survive on her own outside of captivity – so maybe that’s still in the cards. Anyway, this is an amazing video. Beautiful swimming, Yu!
As an aside, live animal exhibits at aquariums and zoos are usually profit-driven. If you want to go to places like the one shown in this video, please make sure they’re rescue- or sanctuary-based. For instance, at the “aqualife park” where Yu is living, there are dolphin and otter shows. Why are they not allowed to just do whatever they want, instead of performing for crowds of humans? Why are they not free, swimming in the ocean, instead of living in captivity, in tanks? What happens when they get old and are no longer attractive “exhibits”? Is their captivity for their benefit or for human benefit? If it’s primarily for our benefit, how can we morally justify continuing this practice?
Photograph from Suma Aqualife Park via Reuters