Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Injured Turtle at Maryland Zoo Heals in LEGO Wheelchair

Animals
Injured Turtle at Maryland Zoo Heals in LEGO Wheelchair
An eastern box turtle rolling around in his LEGO wheelchair. The Maryland Zoo

An injured wild turtle is rolling through recovery at the Maryland Zoo with the aid of a LEGO wheelchair.

The grapefruit-sized, approximately 18-year-old eastern box turtle was found by a zoo employee at Druid Hill Park in July. The reptile had multiple fractures on the bottom part of his shell and was taken to the zoo's hospital for treatment.


Veterinarians performed surgery on the turtle and used metal bone plates, sewing clasps and surgical wire to hold the shell fragments together.

The vets then came up with a clever idea to keep the bottom of the shell elevated off the ground so it could properly heal.

"They don't make turtle-sized wheelchairs," veterinary extern Garrett Fraess explained in a press release received by EcoWatch. "So, we drew some sketches of a customized wheelchair and I sent them to a friend who is a LEGO enthusiast."

A few weeks after surgery, the turtle received his very own multi-colored wheelchair, featuring a frame and wheels made with LEGO bricks. The device was attached to the turtle's upper shell with plumbers putty.

"He took off and has been doing great," Fraess said. "Turtles are really good at healing as long as the shell remains stable."

Ellen Bronson, senior director of animal health, conservation and research at the zoo, said that the turtle will likely use his LEGO wheelchair through the winter and into the spring until all of the fragments have fused together and the shell has completely healed.

"We are very happy that he is recovering well from his injuries and we plan to return him to the wild once he is fully healed," she added.

The turtle's plastron (the bottom part of his shell) is healing.The Maryland Zoo

Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld has his arm disinfected by Dr. Chao Wang during a Moderna clinical trial for a coronavirus vaccine at Meridian Clinical Research in Rockville, Maryland on July 27, 2020. Amanda Andrade-Rhoades for The Washington Post via Getty Images

The secretive blueprints for two of the leading vaccine candidates for the coronavirus were released Thursday. Pfizer and Moderna became the first two companies among the nine leading vaccine candidates to share their study designs, hoping that the disclosures will create trust and clarity for the public, as The New York Times reported.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

New Zealand could be the first country in the world to require its major financial institutions to report on the risks posed by the climate crisis. Lawrence Murray / Wikimedia Commons / CC by 2.0

New Zealand could be the first country in the world to require its major financial institutions to report on the risks posed by the climate crisis.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Patagonia's current logo. Ajay Suresh / CC BY 2.0

Eco-friendly outdoor brand Patagonia has a colorful and timely message stitched into the tags of its latest line of shorts. "VOTE THE A**HOLES," it reads.

Read More Show Less
The Tyre Collective's patent-pending technology captures tire wear right at the wheel. The James Dyson Award

This year, the UK National James Dyson Award went to a team of student designers who want to reduce the environmental impact of car tires.

Read More Show Less
The USDA and the meatpacking industry worked together to downplay and disregard risks to worker health during the COVID-19 pandemic. RGtimeline / Getty Images

By Brett Wilkins

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the meatpacking industry worked together to downplay and disregard risks to worker health during the Covid-19 pandemic, as shown in documents published Monday by Public Citizen and American Oversight.

Read More Show Less

Support Ecowatch