Llama gets a leg up

May 5, 2012 at 6:57 PM

NEWCASTLE, Calif., May 5 (UPI) -- Bella, a 12-year-old llama residing in Newcastle, Calif., got a leg up when she was outfitted with a prosthetic leg that allowed her to walk and run again.

Bella suffered severe injuries to her back right leg when she stepped in a gopher hole at the age of 10. Owners Trish and Chuck Brandt-Robuck attempted to treat the leg, but advanced infection forced veterinarians to amputate.

Bella struggled with mobility, eventually giving up on standing. The Brandt-Robucks told KXTV, Sacramento, they almost had to put Bella down. That is, until they consulted with prosthetist Michael Carlson of Hanger Clinic.

Carlson noticed Bella's greatly diminished muscle strength and motivation, and set to work for 3 1/2 months designing and fitting Bella with a brand-new leg. She is now walking again, even running, and will be able to breed.

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