A tiny box turtle surviving on painkillers and antibiotics after having his front legs eaten by a raccoon is getting a second chance — and a new pair of legs — thanks to a clever veterinarian in California.
When Lucky the turtle's legs were chewed to bits on July 31, his owner feared the mangled and bloody stumps would be too much for him to bear, the Press Democrat of Santa Rosa reported.
But the tenacious terrapin wasn't giving in, so owner Sally Pyne sought help from a local vet with experience in reptile care.
Veterinary surgeon Robert Jereb attached plastic sliders — the small discs usually stuck underneath chairs and table legs — to get Lucky back on his feet again, the paper reported.
Jereb stacked the discs two high and taped them to Lucky's stomach, restoring him to his usual height and allowing the turtle to propel himself with his hind legs, pushing from the back and sliding along in front.
Jereb said he wasn't sure how an animal got to the turtle, which normally would have boxed up for protection by withdrawing his legs and head into his shell, the Press Democrat reported. Jereb said Lucky may have been overweight or could have had a shell deformity that put him at risk.
Pyne said Lucky is adjusting well to the change, but told the Press Democrat the loggerhead's libido has waned, and he now leaves his companion Lovey alone after years of unwanted amorous advances.
"Now Lucky doesn't chase her around and try to make babies any more," she said.