Thursday 8 December 2016

Star turn from wheel-leg tortoise

Published 22/07/2011 | 04:25

An African tortoise with an artificial limb moves across pavement outside the Washington State University veterinary teaching hospital (AP)
An African tortoise with an artificial limb moves across pavement outside the Washington State University veterinary teaching hospital (AP)

A crippled African tortoise at Washington State University is now motoring, thanks to a DIY "artificial limb".

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The caster-style wheel did not come from a high-tech prosthetics lab, but from a Washington hardware shop.

The two vets who installed the wheel on the tortoise after amputating a damaged front leg had to shell out just seven dollars (£4.29) at Ace Hardware in Pullman.

They said the wheel was bought off-the-shelf, as was the glue that attached it to the tortoise's shell.

The tortoise was shown off to the public on Thursday and spent his time eating grass and other plants outside the WSU veterinary hospital.

Doctors Nicol Finch and Courtney Watkins say the tortoise is moving well and gaining weight.

It is the first time they have put a wheel on a tortoise, although the procedure has been done elsewhere.

Press Association

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