In a cute story, an injured wild Eastern box turtle at The Maryland Zoo, got it’s mobility back, thanks to LEGO bricks!
The zoo officials say the injured turtle was found in Druid Hill Park, and was brought to the zoo’s hospital for treatment.
“He had multiple fractures on his plastron, the bottom part of his shell. Because of the unique placement of the fractures, we faced a difficult challenge with maintaining the turtle’s mobility while allowing him to heal properly,” said Dr. Ellen Bronson, senior director of animal health, conservation, and research at the Zoo.
The Zoo’s veterinary team performed surgery in it to stabilize it’s critically fractured shell. Metal bone plates, sewing clasps and surgical wire are now holding the delicate shell fragments together.
Zoo officials say that there are not many small enough devices for turtles to use, so they used their creative juices and drew sketches of a customized wheelchair which was then sent to a friend, who also happens to be a LEGO enthusiast.
“The sketches proved to be a success and the turtle received his very own multi-colored LEGO brick wheelchair just a few weeks after surgery. The turtle is roughly the size of a grapefruit. The small LEGO frame surrounds his shell and sits on four LEGO wheels,” said Garrett Fraess, veterinary extern at the zoo.
“Plumbers putty attaches the device to the edges of the turtle’s upper shell, which gets him off of the ground and allows his legs to be freed up so he can move.”
Fraess says the turtle was adapting well to his wheelchair. “He took off and has been doing great. Turtles are really good at healing as long as the shell remains stable,” said Fraess.
A wild box turtle is in recovery thanks to our hospital team's creative thinking. Now fitted with a LEGO® wheelchair, this turtle can comfortably heal and eventually be returned to the wild.
Read more: https://bit.ly/2N1XTIk 🐢
Posted by The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore on Wednesday, September 26, 2018