Vet Attaches Lego Wheels Onto Tortoise to Help it Walk

January 7, 2015

What happens when a juvenile spur-thighed tortoise can’t use its hind legs due to metabolic bone disease? You equip it with a set of wheels, as a German veterinarian did with Blade, who couldn’t walk around on his own. 

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Veterinarian Dr. Carsten Plischke glued a set of Lego blocks and wheels onto the plastron of Blade, enabling him to move about by using his front and hind legs more proficiently. The hope is that Blade will slowly build his hind leg muscles as a result of his geometry modification from the Lego wheels. 

tortoise with Lego wheels

Dr. Carsten Plischke

Blade was equipped with a set of Legos wheels to help him move about.

Plischke came up with the idea from his son’s Legos. This isn’t the first time a tortoise has gained a wheel. A few years ago, Washington State University veterinarians fashioned a swiveling ball type caster wheel on the plastron of an African spur-thighed tortoise whose left front leg was amputated due to an injury. 


John B. Virata keeps a ball python, two corn snakes, a king snake, and two leopard geckos. His first snake, a California kingsnake, was purchased at the Pet Place in Westminster, CA for $5. His first pet reptile was a green anole that arrived in a small box via mail order. Follow him on Twitter @johnvirata 


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