Injured 90-year-old tortoise gets a set of wheels in Wales

Mrs. T, a tortoise belonging to Jude Ryder, was injured by a rat while hibernating in a garden shed.

By Ben Hooper
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PEMBROKE, Wales, April 28 (UPI) -- The hare better watch his back.

A 90-year-old tortoise injured by a rat is now scooting around on a pair of wheels thanks to its British owner's engineer son.


Jude Ryder of Pembrokeshire, Wales, said her 90-year-old tortoise, Mrs. T, was hibernating in a garden shed when a rat attacked her and chewed off portions of her front legs.

Ryder, who sought donations from the public to pay the more than $1,500 veterinary bills for the injured tortoise, turned to her son, mechanical engineer Dale Sinclair-Jones, to design a set of wheels for Mrs. T.

Sinclar-Jones used the wheels from a toy plane and a custom axle he fitted to the tortoise's shell with resin to return Mrs. T's mobility.

"We were afraid she may have to be put down but her new set of wheels have saved her life," Ryder told the BBC. "She took to her new wheels straight away but she has had to learn how to turn and stop. She can get a good speed up, much faster than before."

Sinclar-Jones said the tortoise is adjusting to her new situation.


"She's around 90 years old," Sinclair-Jones told Buzzfeed News. "It's a lot longer than I've been alive." She said she got Mrs. T as a rescue tortoise about 30 years ago.

"She's doing quite well now. She had her legs amputated last Friday and I built some wheels which she's slowly getting used to having tweaked, and modified them slightly to make them fit better on the floor. But she does seem to be adjusting to them," he said.

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