• An Indian star tortoise uses a prosthetic wheel fitted after an injury. (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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