Wheels for a Turtle

A veterinarian at The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore has designed a creative new way to help one of their slowest animal residents. This Eastern box turtle was given a custom set of wheels built entirely out of Legos! The wild turtle was found in a park with a broken shell and was rushed to the zoo for surgery. However, the injury was on the bottom of its shell, which is unusual for a turtle. Since the zoo normally treats injuries on the top of turtle's shells, they weren't sure how to help the turtle heal. Their challenge was to design something that would keep the shell off the ground, while still allowing the turtle to move around freely. The zoo asked Garrett Fraess, a student studying to become a veterinarian, to come up with a solution to their turtle problem. He had never come across this challenge at school, but he thought that a mini wheelchair might be the answer!

As Garrett was creating the wheelchair, he remembered his friend in Denmark who loved working with Legos. He drew up some sketches of the custom turtle wheelchair and sent them to his friend. She designed and built the wheelchair from a variety of Legos, and shipped it overseas to the zoo. Garrett attached the tiny Lego wheelchair to the turtle with some sticky plumber's putty, and it was ready to go! He is happy to report the turtle can now move easily, using the strength of its front legs to scoot around. Garrett said he had fun coming up with the design, and he was glad the zoo liked his unusual idea. We hope this little turtle makes a speedy recovery!

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(Image Credit: New York Post)

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