Achern, Germany –  Schildi the tortoise was found recently in  Germany, possibly abandoned by his owners and shy one leg.  Vets have since fixed  him up and have fitted a Lego wheel to help him get around.

Dr Panagiotis Azmanis, works at a veterinary practice in  Achern in Baden, told The Local that initially, all efforts went into saving  Schildi’s life.

“He was in pretty bad shape when they  brought him to us. The lower part of his front leg was missing, and the upper  part was very bad, with bone showing, and maggots in necrotic flesh,” said  Azmanis.

Once his health had improved, next step  was to do something about the tortoise’s mobility, or lack thereof.  Vets  amputated the injured leg at the shoulder, treating Schildi with antibiotics and  fluids, and giving him painkillers.

Next was to find a way to help him get  around.  “Tortoises need to run free in gardens, so he needed a prosthetic,”  said Azmanis.

Azmanis came up with the idea to raid the practice manager’s  daughter’s toy box for spares.  Using wheels, spacer blocks, and a  special veterinary surgical glue to fix it in place, he was able to give the  tortoise a whole new lease on life.

“First we fitted a double wheel but it  was difficult for him to turn corners so we replaced it with a single wheel and  that is much better for him.”

“After that we could add blocks to  achieve the correct height,” he said.

The “operation” has been successful, and Schildi has now been returned to the animal shelter.

“We will see him again once in a while  for check-ups,” Azmanis concluded.

“If he gets a ‘flat tire’ it will be a  simple matter to replace the wheel. They move around quite a lot so I’d expect  to see him for a new wheel about once a year.”

Good news indeed for the little guy.

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