BATON ROUGE, Louisiana – Staff at the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine’s Teaching Hospital has made it easier for Pedro the turtle to get around.
Pedro is an adult male box turtle.
When his owners adopted him, he was already missing one of his legs.
Pedro left his outdoor enclosure and lost his other leg before he returned.
Pedro’s owner brought him to LSU.
“The wound had already healed quite well and he managed to get back on his own with his front legs somehow. Without his back legs, he’s a little less mobile. As a box turtle, he can still ‘box up’ and protect himself that way, but due to his weakened mobility, the owners decided to make him a permanent indoor turtle,” Rockwell said. “Since they opted to keep him inside, I was talking to Dr. Mark Mitchell, the clinician working that week, and we thought in order to make him more mobile, we could add a prosthetic of some sort. We talked about 3-D printing something, or we could try to make him wheels.”
According to a press release, LSU veterinary student Sarah Mercer came up with an idea to use a Lego car kit and attach wheels to Pedro.
“Vet school can be hard at times, but sitting on the floor with my classmates and mentors all laughing in delight as we watched Pedro roll around for the first time, that was a moment of pure joy,” Mercer said.
Pedro’s owner says he picked up how to move with wheels quickly.
“He’s taken to the wheels with absolutely no problem. He adjusted right away to them. He backs up, he turns, goes back and forth,” she said.