Poor Yu has already been through 25 pairs of limbs – but all proved too painful for the turtle to keep.
But aquarium curator, Naoki Kamezaki and his team seemed to have found a solution for Yu by attaching plastic flippers to a kind of vest that they have slipped over the turtle’s head.
“We have worked hard to design the vest in a way that prevents the turtle from taking it off unwittingly,” he said.
Yu arrived at the Suma Aqualife Park in Kobe, Western Japan in 2008 after she was picked out of the sea by fisherman near Okinawa.
While her flippers hadn’t been completely destroyed in the shark attack, one third of her right limb and half of the left limb were gone which meant that she could only swim at about 60 per cent of her usual speed.
“Similar attempts have been made to attach artificial limbs to turtles around the world, but we have not heard if they went well,” said Mr Kamezaki, an expert on sea turtles, whose surname coincidentally means ‘turtle cape’ in Japanese.
“Ours may be the only case in which a turtle with artificial limbs is still swimming without a problem.”