Tortoise Gets Wheel for a Leg (Video)

An African tortoise at Washington State University had a leg replaced with a caster wheel obtained from a hardware store. It had suffered damage to the leg, so it was removed to prevent further problems. Surgeons at the university’s veterinarian school performed the operations.

The three-legged animal weighs about twenty-three pounds and is named Gamera after a Japanese movie character. He could grow to a weight of 200 pounds. The typical lifespan is about 30-50 years, though some live longer.

Normally this type of tortoise lives in the Sahara Desert and the nearby Sahel region.

Note: the tortoise in the first image is an example of a four-legged African tortoise. Gamera is in the video.

Image Credit: Melissa Mitchell

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lesley turnbull
l turnbullabout a month ago

I just noticed that he may grow to 200 lbs. that little caster won't hold forever. Please do not cut him loose on his own. He will need to be watched as he grows and that takes a long long time for tortoises.

lesley turnbull
l turnbullabout a month ago

I guess it is better than no leg. It probably helps him most when he is crossing concrete. He is a gorgeous tortoise. He has a ruffled shell. Good luck fella. I just hope someone monitors him for life.

Frances Darcy
Frances Darcy2 years ago

Great story.

Ann Razumovskaya
Ann Razumovskaya2 years ago

Thanks for helping tortoise

Geynell Eskite
Geynell Eskite2 years ago

Well done. Way to help a guy out!

.2 years ago

heartwarming,thank you for sharing

Emelie Hangsel
Past Member 2 years ago

Great, really great. He can be alive and active, really good people behind his specialized care!

Connie O.
Connie O.2 years ago

I think they could look for a better wheel, but in the meantime, this one helps.

Lydia Weissmuller Price

Beautiful story...but, why use a castor from a hardware store? Surgically-implanted prosthetics should always be made of high-quality stainless steel. This helps to prevent allergic reactions, which can occur from other metals. Also, other metals will corrode or tarnish. Nickle poisoning can result from prolonged exposure. I hope the next implant will be more suitable.

Elaine A.
Elaine Al Meqdad2 years ago

Beautiful story!