A hare should think twice before challenging this tortoise to a race. Mrs. T, a 90-year-old tortoise missing her front legs, is roaming at twice the speed she used to thanks to her new set of wheels.
Mrs. T's owner, Jude Ryder, told London's Telegraph that a rat had chewed off both of the tortoise's front legs while she was hibernating at her home in Pembroke, West Wales. After racking up veterinary bills, Ryder said her local vet feared the tortoise wouldn't survive. But her son Dale, a mechanical engineer, had other plans.
"We were hoping initially that there was going to be enough of the stubs left so that we could fix prosthetic legs to her, but unfortunately most of the legs had to be cut off," Dale Ryder told the Telegraph.
That's when Dale decided to design a custom set of wheels for Mrs. T. He fastened wheels from a model aircraft to a wire and glued the device to the font of Mrs. T's shell, giving her back the freedom the Ryders had feared she had lost.
"She took to them straight away, but she has had to learn how to turn and stop," Jude told the Telegraph of Mrs. T's wheels. "She can get a good speed up, much faster than before."
Despite her age and injury, Mrs. T can now walk backward and forward, and turn around with ease.
"We were afraid she may have to be put down, but her new set of wheels have saved her life," Jude said.