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Friday, April 12, 2024

Injured turtle gets Lego wheelchair in Maryland Zoo

A wild box turtle found with a damaged shell in Maryland is recovering with help from a wheelchair made of Lego bricks.


The Maryland Zoo said an employee found the eastern box turtle while walking in Druid Hill Park in July and brought the reptile to the zoo to receive treatment for multiple fractures to the bottom part of its shell.

“Because of the unique placement of the fractures, we faced a difficult challenge with maintaining the turtle’s mobility while allowing him to heal properly,” said Dr. Ellen Bronson, senior director of animal health, conservation and research at the Maryland Zoo.

The zoo’s veterinary team enlisted the help of a “Lego enthusiast” to construct a wheelchair that would keep the injured part of the turtle’s shell off the ground while it heals.

Garrett Fraess, veterinary extern at the zoo, said the turtle quickly adjusted to the wheelchair.

“He never even hesitated,” Fraess said. “He took off and has been doing great. Turtles are really good at healing as long as the shell remains stable.”

The turtle is expected to be able to get around without the wheelchair sometime next spring.



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