Injured turtle gets lift from Lego wheelchair

Samica Knight Image
Friday, September 28, 2018
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An injured turtle at the Maryland Zoo is recovering from surgery thanks to a customized Lego wheelchair.

Baltimore, Md. -- An injured turtle is now rolling its way to recovery thanks to a wheelchair made of Lego bricks.

A "customized Lego wheelchair" was designed for a wounded wild Eastern box turtle who needed some help after injuring and undergoing surgery for his shell, according to a news release from the Maryland Zoo.

The Zoo's veterinary team performed surgery to help stabilize the turtle's severely fractured shell. Metal bone plates, sewing clasps and surgical wire now hold the fragile shell fragments together.

"It was important to keep the bottom of the shell off the ground so it could heal properly," said Garrett Fraess, veterinary extern at the Zoo.

Because maintaining the shell upward was so important to the turtle's healing process, a sketch was designed and executed, resulting in the multi-colored Lego device that has four wheels and goes around the turtle's shell. This wheelchair allows him to maneuver around freely while still providing support.

Veterinarians hope to use the device through next spring until all fragments have successfully fused together and the turtle's shell has completely healed.