• An Indian star tortoise uses a prosthetic wheel fitted after an injury. (Getty Images, AFP)Source: Getty Images, AFP
With so many tortoises getting wheels these days, is this the first sign of their cyborg evolution?
By
Sarah Norton

23 Jun 2016 - 1:54 PM  UPDATED 23 Jun 2016 - 1:54 PM

An Indian star tortoise was fitted with prosthetic wheels after sustaining injuries at the Araingar Anna Zoological park in Chennai, India.

The tortoise was bitten by a mongoose according to AAP, and lost one of his front legs during the encounter.

To restore his mobility, the tortoise had a 30-minute operation at the park's local animal hospital. The doctors implanted a prosthetic wheel under his shell, and how he happily rolls around.

 

The star tortoise fitted with a prosthetic wheel implant.

The zoo staff say that since acquiring new wheels the tortoise moves faster than its other able-bodied tortoise friends. The operation probably saved his life.

A tortoise getting attacked or injured is a common occurrence. Tortoises often have leg injuries from predator attacks and from injuries sustained through accidents, like getting hit by a car. 

Generally, tortoises are very slow, making them easy prey for other animals. When they lose a leg - or legs - it's hard to get around, and puts them in more danger than usual.

So it's nice to know they don't seem to mind using a set of wheels instead. Perhaps we're looking at the beginnings of cyborg tortoise overlords. Here are a few other lucky recipients of rolling prosthetics.

In 2008 a 10-year-old African spurred tortoise got a make-shift wheelchair, which led her to find a mate.

10-year-old African spurred tortoise "Arava" with her new wheels.

A tortoise wheelchair has also been made out of Lego.

An African tortoise got an artificial limb that came from a hardware store in 2011. The wheel cost about $7, according to AAP reports.

Gamera the tortoise had a front leg amputated and replaced with a wheel.

In 2015 a 90-year-old tortoise had her legs bitten off by a rat while she was hibernating, so her owners glued wheels on from a model aircraft - now she rolls everywhere.

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