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100-Year-Old Tortoise Fitted With Model Aircraft Wheels
by KindMeal.my, 04 May 2015
100-Year-Old Tortoise Fitted With Model Aircraft Wheels

A 100-year-old tortoise is going twice its normal speed after being fitted with a set of wheels when a rat gnawed off its two front legs. The tortoise called Mrs T was facing a grim future after the rat attacked her while she was hibernating.

But her owners glued the wheels from a model aircraft onto her shell and Mrs T is said to be enjoying being able to get around much faster than she used to.

Owner Jude Ryder, 56, said: 'It was like fitting her with a turbo charger - she's going double the speed she used to. 'She uses her back legs to push herself along, she seems quite happy but it's difficult to tell with a tortoise.'

Ms Ryder was horrified when she went to check on her ancient pet last month and found its front legs had been eaten away in the rat attack.

Her local vet battled to save Mrs T but feared she would not survive without being mobile. After running up a £1,000 vets bill Ms Ryder turned to her mechanical engineer son Dale Sinclair-Jones, 37, for help

Mr Sinclair-Jones designed the front wheels and used resin to attach them to the front of her shell.

His mother said: 'She took to them straight away but she has had to learn how to turn and stop. She can get a good speed up, much faster than before.'

Mr Sinclair-Jones' tortoise was facing a grim future until he stepped in and attached wheels to her shell. 'Mrs T is still quite young for a tortoise she could go on for another 50 years - all she needs is a new set of tyres every now and again.'

Mrs T was in her sixties when she was bought as a pet for Mr Sinclair-Jones when he was eight. The much-loved pet has the run of Ms Ryder's garden in Pembroke, west Wales, in the spring and summer before being tucked away in in the garden shed to hibernate.

But a rat got in last month and chewed off both her front legs to the elbow joint.

Ms Ryder said: 'We were afraid she may have to be put down but her new set of wheels have saved her life. She has the run of the garden again and we can always find her because she leaves very strange tracks behind wherever she goes.'

Rats attacking tortoises is not uncommon - in 2013 Britain's oldest tortoise died after a rat attack. Thomas the Tortoise was 130 when he was bitten at his home in Guernsey.

He spent five days on strong antibiotics but the wound became so infected his owner had no choice but to have him put to sleep.

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Source: http://dailym.ai/1DsCICT « Back To Articles