Injured Tortoise Glides Smoothly With 'Swivel' Leg


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Thanks to some innovative thinking by doctors at the Washington State University veterinarian hospital, a 12-year old African Spurred tortoise is gliding around in style, with his new swivel leg!

The reptile, named Gamera after the giant flying tortoise from the popular Japanese movie series Kaiju, was brought to the center by its owner in April suffering from a leg injury so severe, that the doctors had to amputate his leg all the way to the shoulder.

Then, instead of fitting him with some fancy expensive prosthetic leg they stuck a caster-style wheel (the kind attached to office chairs) bought from Ace Hardware to Gamera's shell with the help of some epoxy adhesive. Sure enough, the tortoise figured out exactly how to maneuver around with it and has since been gliding around effortlessly, on both rough and smooth terrain. His owner says that his speed has been particularly rapid when heading for food - Which may explain why Gamera has gained three pounds since the surgery!

African Spurred tortoise are the largest species of tortoise that reside on the mainland and the third largest species overall, following the island dwelling giants - the Aldabra and Galapagos tortoises. They can grow anywhere between 24-36 inches long and weigh up to 200 lbs. Native to the Northern part of Africa, they have a life expectancy of between 30-60 years.


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  • Gavinalmost 3 years
    That is good that they fixed it.
    • Gavinalmost 3 years
      That is good that they fixed it.
      • jedalmost 3 years
        • Tessaalmost 3 years
          i love that they help him
          • Alyssa Calmost 3 years
            wow thats so amazing that you helped that tortoise!
            • Maddiealmost 3 years
              This is so cute. I love that they could help that poor tortoise. I'm glad hes back to heath.
              • masonalmost 3 years
                tat was nice of the girl
                • Loganalmost 3 years
                  I wonder what happened to the tortoise
                  • imogenalmost 3 years
                    that is so sweet i love it!
                    • peytonalmost 3 years
                      wish humans could have those just bigger