Man Attaches Wheels to Help Tortoise Hatchling With Spinal Deformity Move About
August 19, 2019
A Delaware man has given a tiny tortoise with a spinal deformity a second chance at life by attaching Techdeck toy skateboard wheels onto the shell of the tortoise. Randy Betz, a medical sales consultant who has a side business (@TheTortStork) helping folks hatch tortoise eggs, hatched out a marginated tortoise with an imperfect spine.
Helix got his own instagram! @helixwheels Link: https://instagram.com/helixwheels?igshid=7x4euf0b1hyl take a follow. You will see Helix walk before he had wheels.... #teamhelix #helixwheelsPosted by TortStork on Friday, August 16, 2019
"I'm around spine deformity all the time, and this little guy has some sort of turtle-related spina bifida," Betz told 6 ABC. Because the tortoise was in danger of being euthanized due to its deformity, Betz decided to do something, and he did, taking the wheels and truck off a toy skateboard and gluing them onto the rear of the tortoise's plastron. This enabled the little tortoise to move about.
Helix has a deformed lung, deformed ribs on the deformed side of its body, a fused hip joint, but better yet he is eating and pooping, which appears to indicate his pipes are working, Betz wrote on Facebook. Betz also noted that other than his deformity, the turtle is acting just like other tortoises his age.
Betz, who named the tortoise Helix, also made a t-shirt that he hopes to sell to raise funds for tortoise conservation. You can purchase the shirt here on the TortStork website.