Custom Search

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

This tortoise would win a race against any hare! Tuly is fitted with toy tractor wheel after leg is chewed off by rat while she was hibernating

By Daily Mail Reporter

Up to speed: Tuly the tortoise is now faster than all her friends after having a wheel fitted to replace a leg after a rat gnawed it off while she hibernated

Tuly the tortoise is really coming out of her shell after she was fitted with a child's toy tractor wheel after a run-in with a rat left her with only three legs.

Vets fitted the tiny wheel with the help of some velcro to take the place of her severed front right limb last month - and she's already racing around on her new prosthetic attachment.

Her ordeal happened when the voracious rodent decided to chew off the appendage while the tortoise, thought to be about 45 years old, was fast asleep during her winter hibernation.

Scroll down to see another tortoise on wheels...

But experts think she somehow managed to fight off the rodent and save her life despite her sleepy state.

After vets had operated to save her life at the end of last year, Norfolk Tortoise Club in Norwich called vets to fit the wheel to get her fully mobile again.

Eleanor Tirtasana, the club's chief re-homing officer, said: 'She can now scoot around freely and gives her mates a run for their money at feeding time.'

The op was carried out last month after her father Philip Chubb had engineered the new limb after buying a toy tractor at a car boot sale.

He explained: 'She was mobile but very off balance and slow. We knew we needed to think of something that would help her without hurting her obviously.'

'She was rubbing away her shell because it was scraping along the ground when she walked. It was a problem that would have lead to more complications.'

However, Mr Chubb the operation had been such an immediate success, she'd instantly become speedier than before.

He mused: 'She clearly didn't mind having it on and seemed delighted to scoot off to feed on the weeds.

'She's now actually the fastest tortoise we have which is rather funny.'

Cracked it: Norfolk Tortoise Club's chief re-homing officer Eleanor Tirtasana proudly shows off Tuly after her wheely great operation

Eleanor said many tortoises are struggling to recover this spring from a tough hibernation because of the harsh winter.

She explained: 'Unfortunately, many tortoises froze during hibernation in sheds or suffered ill effects from excessively low temperatures.

'Tortoises need monitoring during hibernation, and we are always available to help people who contact us for advice.

'We know far more nowadays about these reptiles and how they function than we did when they were imported in the 1960s.

'All the tortoises that have survived living in the damp UK since then are now reaching old age and, like us, require a little more help in their later years.'

A spokesman for the group added: 'We see many tortoise cases involving damage caused by rat, fox and dog attacks.'



Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More

Powered by Blogger