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Tortoise gets Lego-wheel prosthetic for missing leg

An abandoned and severely injured tortoise gets a mobility enhancement with a new Lego-wheel leg.

Tortoise with Lego leg
Schildi the tortoise is back up and running now.
Bird Consulting International

Schildi the tortoise was found in rough shape in Germany. He was abandoned and missing part of his front leg. What was left of the leg was in such bad condition, it had to be amputated at the shoulder. German veterinary clinic Bird Consulting International took care of Schildi, but had to figure out how to make him mobile again.

"Tortoises need to run free in gardens, so he needed a prosthetic," veterinarian Panagiotis Azmanis told The Local. Fortunately, the vet's office had a toy box on hand. Azmanis dug around and emerged with a set of Lego wheels and blocks.

The Lego block is held in place using surgical glue on the underside of the tortoise's shell. This also means extra blocks can be added over time as the critter grows. A Hermann's tortoise can typically grow up to 8 inches in length.

The vet first tried a double-wheel setup, but settled on a single-wheel design to aid in cornering. Swapping out the wheel is just a matter of clicking a new one into place. Azmanis expects the tortoise to come in for an annual tire change.

This isn't the first Lego leg we've seen. Human Christina Stephens built herself a lower-leg Lego prosthetic as a humorous experiment rather than a practical creation. It looks like Schildi the tortoise will fare a bit better with the longevity of his toy-block mobility solution.