Meet the tortoise on wheels living life in fast lane after rats gnawed off her legs

 

Tortoise Mrs T with owners Dale Sinclair-Jones and Linzi James

A century-old tortoise has been given a new lease of life after its legs were gnawed off by rats.

Reptile Mrs T is going twice normal speed thanks to her owners, who glued the wheels from a model aircraft onto her shell.

She had been facing a grim future after a hungry rat chewed off her two front legs while she was hibernating.

Owner Jude Ryder said: “It was like fitting her with a turbo charger – she’s going double the speed she used to.

“She uses her back legs to push herself along, she seems quite happy but it’s difficult to tell with a tortoise.”

Jude, of Pembroke, was horrified when she went to check on her elderly pet last month and found her front legs had been eaten away in the rat attack, reports Wales Online.

Her local vet battled to save Mrs T but feared she would not survive without being mobile.

After running up a £1,000 vets bill Jude turned to her mechanical engineer son Dale, 37, for help.

Dale used the wheels from the toy plane and designed a special axle which he fitted to her tortoise shell using strong resin.

Jude said: “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.

“Mrs T is still quite young for a tortoise she could go on for another 50 years – all she needs is a new set of tyres every now and again.”

Mrs T was in her sixties when she was bought as a pet for Dale when he was eight, making her at least 100-years-old.
The much-loved pet has the run of Jude’s garden in the spring and summer before being tucked away in in the garden shed to hibernate.

But a rat got in last month and chewed off both her front legs to the elbow joint.

Jude said: “We were afraid she may have to be put down but her new set of wheels have saved her life.

“She has the run of the garden again and we can always find her because she leaves very strange tracks behind wherever she goes.”

Rats attacking tortoises is not uncommon – in 2013 Britain’s oldest tortoise died after a rat attack.

Thomas the Tortoise was 130 when he was bitten at his home in Guernsey.

He spent five-days on strong antibiotics but the wound became so infected his owner had no choice but to have him put to sleep

 

 

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