Life can be difficult for an animal with a disability that can no longer get around on its own.
But fortunately there are people who are willing to help such animals and, with a little ingenuity, give them the freedom they need.
A giant tortoise can barely move due to a disease in her legs. She was given a wheelchair specially built for her!
George Bailey is an 11-year-old sulcata tortoise rescued by Jaime Loebener. But George was born with a condition called metabolic bone disease, which caused his hind legs to be underdeveloped.
Reptiles kept in captivity are often affected due to an imbalance of calcium and phosphorus in their diet. Turtles are not particularly fast, but George still found it difficult to move his 35-kilo body.
“He uses his front legs to move slowly and awkwardly,” Jaime told Walkin’ Pets. “The bigger he got, the harder that was for him. Currently he weighs almost 35 kilograms, but he can grow up to 100 kilograms.”
Turtles can also live up to 100 years, and it looked like George might soon not be able to move at all. Fortunately, a solution was found.
Walkin’ Pets is a group dedicated to helping ageing and disabled animals. “There was a time when injured pets “weren’t good enough anymore,” their statement reads. “If an animal was injured, became lame or incontinent, or was no longer wanted for any reason, they were euthanised. That has now come to an end.”
When Jaime saw that Walkin’ Pets had previously helped an injured tortoise named Scoot Reeves get a wheelchair, she had hopes that maybe they could help George too.
Soon George got his own wheelchair, which consisted of a wheeled base and a harness wrapped around his shell. It was specially adapted to the turtle’s body.
Finally, George could move again.
It worked straight away, and for the first time George was able to get around comfortably on his own.
“[George Bailey] is very excited about his wheelchair,” Jaime told Walkin’ Pets.
What a wonderful way to help the disabled turtle! We are sure it will change George Bailey’s life as he can finally get around on his own.