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Turtlewheelsweb2
Jim @ Bamboo Turtle writes -

Little Bit, a young Eastern Box Turtle was hit by a car in September of 2000. Her shell was crushed and she was left partially paralyzed. There was no way she would ever be released to the wild as happens with most successful rehabs. I repaired her shell using velcro strips epoxied to anchor points on her carapace. After some weeks Little Bit seemed to have made a full recovery except for the use of her hind legs. So some wheels seemed to be the way to go. Some lightweight model airplane wheels on a wire frame did the trick. The removable wheels were secured by a velcro strip epoxied to her plastron. The velcro strips on the carapace were removed after four months. She was eating, drinking, and exploring all the rooms of my house. Eventually she was able to move around outside as well. She lived until early in 2002 when she died unexpectedly (and suddenly). After all she had been through I did not have the heart to order any kind of post mortem from the local vet school. I simply said goodbye and thanked her for what she had shared with me and others who met her.

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.


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Comments

  1. Spanish Flea says:

    It was so kind of you to share this story. What a great name for a turtle. And a great idea to get her mobile again.

    Spanish Flea

  2. Squidly1 says:

    Here’s the URL, just in case people were not able to get to it:
    http://www.bambooturtle.us/turtlewheels.html

  3. Rob says:

    Sometimes it’s difficult to understand humanity and their sometimes disregardable spirit of living things so it was really refreshing to read your story and to know, even though it’s minor in the grand scheme of things, that heart trumps neglect.

  4. Ken says:

    I have an eastern box turtle that lives around my house… he has been coming around for years… we call him Darth Maul because of the coloration pattern :)

    It’s a stupid little guy, it likes to bask in the road and driveway, and I’m constantly picking him up and moving him to safe places. I hope he shows up again this year…

  5. Michael Harrison says:

    This is a touching story, but where’s the “make” part?
    How about directions for shell repair and wheel attachment.
    This hardly seems like something that belongs here.
    On the other hand she was a cute turtle and you probably earned all sorts of karma points for that good deed.

  6. Per says:

    Stories like this give me back some of my faith in mankind. Thank you.

    To answer Mr. Harrison, I’d say the “make” part could be in making the effort, or making a contribution, or making friends with another species, or making the time to do these things. Highly creative, make-wise.

  7. beersmail says:

    Mate,
    I’m here in Australia and it was just so great to hear of your efforts.
    Humanity is alive and well thanks to your great efforts, long live these wonderful creatures.

    Cheers

    Charlie

  8. P.R. says:

    I also have an Eastern box turtle who was injured last year. The only difference is that I hit her with farm machinery. Her shell was split from one back leg to the middle of her back. I fixed that with fiberglass and antibiotics, but although she can sort of walk, she mostly drags herself with her front legs. That’s what she needs…..wheels! Right now she is hibernating in a spare refrigerator, but it’ll soon be time to wake her up.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I love the care and love that went into saving and helping your little friend but maybe just maybe it was the epoxy that killed her so suddenly. You probably already thought of that hunh!

  10. Len says:

    The turtle got another 2 years of life with improved mobility…

    Besides, using epoxy to repair tortoise shells is common veterinary practice.

    @Jim: Why velcro?

  11. Edward Turtle says:

    That ein’t no turtle, it’s a tortoise. I should know with being a turtle myself, hehe.

  12. Edward Turtle says:

    Ok meybe I am wrong, sorry. It’s a tortoise.

  13. Chad says:

    that is so kind god bless you.

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