A 90-year-old pet tortoise called Mrs T got a set of wheels especially made for her after a rat chewed off her front legs while she was hibernating in the garden in west Wales.
Her owner, Jude Ryder, rushed her to the vet as soon as he realised and Mrs T was able to be saved, but the vet was concerned of her survival chances if she couldn’t walk again.
Ryder, who had bought the tortoise some 30 years ago, didn’t want to take any chances and turned to his son Dale for help, who developed an axle with a set of wheels taken from a toy plane for her which they attached to her shell with resin.
“It was like fitting her with a turbo charger – she’s going double the speed she used to,” said Ryder to The Telegraph.
“She uses her back legs to push herself along. She seems quite happy, but it’s difficult to tell with a tortoise.”
“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.”
A similar incident occurred two years ago when Britain’s oldest tortoise, 130-year-old Thomas, had to be put down after a rat attacked him in his home in Guernsey and the wounds became infected.