ARIZONA (CBS Local) – Arizona isn’t the first place where you’d expect to spot an alligator, but a lucky reptile has a new tail thanks to doctors in the Grand Canyon State.

Mr. Stubbs has lived at the Phoenix Herpetological Society for several years without a tail. Vets believe he lost it in a fight with another gator and just like humans losing a limb, the injury affected his ability to do everyday things.

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“When we first got him, if the water was too deep for him to touch the bottom, he would roll over onto his back and could not right himself,” Phoenix Herpetological Society president Russ Johnson told

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Thanks to a team of doctors at Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine, Mr. Stubbs now has a new prosthetic tail to wag as he travels around his Scottsdale pond. The prosthetic tail reportedly took over a year to develop, as researchers worked to figure out how big of a tail Mr. Stubbs needed to restore his movement and balance in the water.

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“After almost eight years, we need to ‘unteach’ him the dog paddle, so he can swim like a normal alligator,” Johnson added.