A tortoise in the United States underwent several months of rehabilitation on a wheelchair from Lego. Now she was set free

Wheelchairs for turtles are not made, because the veterinarians had to create a chair themselves – from Lego.

Photo of Maryland Zoo

In the US, released into the wild «Lego turtle”, which took place two years rehabilitating the zoo Maryland.

Zoo staff found a wounded eastern box turtle in Maryland Park in 2018. She had damaged the lower surface of the shell, and therefore she was taken to the hospital.

“Due to the unique location of the fractures, we faced a difficult task: we need to maintain the turtle’s mobility and at the same time allow the wounds to heal properly,” said Ellen Bronson, senior director of animal health and research at the zoo.

The veterinarians performed the operation, installing plates, a clasp and a wire on their shell, which fastened its fragments. However, it was necessary to keep the carapace bottom above the ground in order to allow it to heal. “Wheelchairs for turtles are not made. So we drew some sketches for an individual order and sent them to my friend, a LEGO lover, ”said veterinarian Garrett Freis.

A tracker was placed on the turtle to track its movements

Soon for the turtles made a multi-colored stroller with four wheels. She holds the carapace above the ground and at the same time releases the legs of the animal so that it can move. “The design allowed the turtle to behave naturally and completely hide in the shell in danger,” the zoo said in a release. Then the animal began to be called “Lego tortoise.”

Turtles are recovering much slower than mammals and birds, because they have a slow metabolism, so she used her stroller all winter and spring of 2019, until all fragments of the shell have grown together and healed.

Ellen Bronson

Senior Director of Animal Health and Research at Maryland Zoo

After that, the veterinarians unfastened the stroller and began to prepare the turtle for return to its natural habitat. “In two years, the tortoise has achieved tremendous success in the treatment. From the successful use of the Lego stroller at an early stage to the present moment, it has remained a unique patient in the zoo, ”said Bronson.


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