90-year-old tortoise gets prosthetic wheels and a happy ending, but when Mrs. T the tortoise was originally found in hibernation with her legs eaten off by rats her doting owner feared the very worst.
Jude Ryder from Pembrook, West Wales was horrified when she went to check on her hibernating pet and found her legs had been eaten off in a rat attack.
The 56-year-old immediately rushed her long-time pet to the vet and spent over $1,500 (£1,000) trying to save Mrs. T. The prognosis was grim; the vet didn’t think Mrs. T could survive unless they found a way to make her mobile again.
Jude Ryder’s son, Dale, received the tortoise as a gift when he was 8-years-old, at which point Mrs. T was already well into her sixties. Dale is now a 37-year-old mechanical engineer but he still has warm feelings for the sweet pet tortoise he got when he was only a child.
Using his engineering mind, Dale decided to attach wheels from a model aircraft onto the front of Mrs. T’s shell using resin, blessing her with a whole new way to get around.
Turtles are known for being one of the slowest creatures on the planet, but now that Mrs. T has her own wheels you can’t call her a slow poke.
Dale 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.”
Mrs. Ryder 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. 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 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 enjoys free roam of Mrs. Ryder’s garden during the spring and summer, and spends her winters tucked away in the garden shed hibernating. It was in this shed that a rat was able to sneak inside and chew off both of Mrs. T’s front legs, all the way up to the elbow joint.
According to Mrs. Ryder, “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 might seem like something straight out of a horror film, but apparently it’s not all that uncommon. Thomas, Britain’s oldest tortoise, died from an infected rat bite in 2013, he was 130-years-old.
Photo Credits: telegraph.co.uk