Animal health care
4:00 pm
Thu July 21, 2011

Update with video: Tortoise's artificial limb from Ace Hardware

PULLMAN, Wash. — The artificial limb put on an African tortoise at Washington State University didn't come from a high-tech prosthetics lab. It came from Ace Hardware in Pullman.

(Video inside)

The caster-style wheel cost around $7, according to the two veterinarians who installed it on the tortoise after amputating a damaged front leg. They say the wheel was purchased off-the-shelf, as was the epoxy that attached it to the shell.

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Watch out Mr. Hare, this tortoise has wheels.

A 12-year-old African tortoise that recently had a front leg amputated due to injury is now moving just fine thanks to a swiveling wheel attached to his shell by surgeons at Washington State University's veterinary hospital.

Officials at WSU say the 23-pound tortoise, named Gamera after the giant flying turtle of the old Japanese monster movie, is gaining weight and generally thriving with his new appendage.

Veterinary hospital spokesman Charlie Powell said the wheel allows Gamera to move on lumpy as well as flat surfaces.