Turtle with rare bone disease can now walk thanks to a wheelchair

While the life of a turtle is never quite timely, it has been even slower for George Bailey. As Simplest reportsThe 70-pound sulcata tortoise was born with metabolic bone disease that prevented the development of bones in his legs, and he’s never been able to walk properly, until now.

George, aptly named after the character of Jimmy Stewart in It’s a wonderful life (1946), is the recent recipient of a personalized wheelchair device which allows him a significant mobility for the first time in his life of 11 years.

George was Safe from an exotic pet store in Knoxville, Tennessee, by Jamie Loebener, who observed which George could maneuver primarily by propelling himself with his front legs and dragging his hind legs behind him.

In reptiles, metabolic bone disease can be the result of an imbalance between calcium and phosphorus or living in a cool environment.

As George gets older the problem will only get worse, so Loebener turned to a company named Pets for help getting George moving. The operation, based in Amherst, New Hampshire, specializes in the design of personalized walking aids for animals. While they usually worked on cats and dogs, they had previously helped turtle Scoot Reeves, who had been run over by a vehicle and ended up with paralysis in his hind legs.

Walkin ‘Pets was able to create a wheelchair for Scoot and did the same for George, a chair that hugs the contours of his shell and provides a stretchy harness that will allow for a good fit even as George continues to grow. (Sulcata tortoises, also known as African tortoises, can possibly reach 110 pounds or more.)

The harness is built to last, just like George. If all goes well, he has almost a century to live and explore.

[h/t Simplemost]

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