An injured turtle has a cool new set of wheels thanks to The Maryland Zoo.
A zoo employee found the turtle at a park in Baltimore. He had multiple fractures on the bottom part of his shell. The employee brought the turtle to the zoo's hospital for treatment.
Zoo veterinarians performed surgery to stabilize the shell with metal plates and wires, but for the shell to heal properly, it needs to be kept off the ground.
That's when veterinary student, Garrett Fraess, who is doing his fourth year clinical rotation at the zoo reached out to a friend who is a Lego enthusiast.
Fraess sent her some sketches and measurements and she came up with specific Lego pieces and design ideas. She sent him some Legos from her collection and the veterinarians built the customized contraption. Fraess said the turtle seems to love it and is doing great.
“He never even hesitated,” Fraess said in the zoo's press release. “He took off and has been doing great. Turtles are really good at healing as long as the shell remains stable.”
The zoo expects the turtle will use the Lego wheelchair through the spring. It could take up to a year to completely heal. Once that happens, the zoo will return him to the wild.
Injured Turtle Gets LEGO® Wheelchair
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