If you needed to see something adorable and heartwarming today, the Maryland Zoo has you covered. After someone who worked at the zoo found a turtle injured from a hit-and-run accident, the employee and other people at the zoo decided to help the animal on his road to recovery. Yes, the nice people at the Maryland Zoo made a wheelchair of sorts for this turtle — out of LEGOs.
An article on the zoo's official website describes exactly what the turtle was facing when it arrived at the zoo.
"He had multiple fractures on his plastron, the bottom part of his shell. Because of the unique placement of the fractures, we faced a difficult challenge with maintaining the turtle's mobility while allowing him to heal properly," Dr. Ellen Bronson, senior director of animal health, conservation and research at the zoo, said.
Enter: the LEGO wheelchair.
After surgery was preformed on the turtle, the veterinary staff wanted to make sure that the animal kept its shell off of the ground while it healed, so the LEGO mechanism was a perfect solution.
It allowed mobility while also lifting the turtle's shell off the ground.
Specialists at Maryland Zoo say that the turtle will most likely be wearing the LEGO wheelchair until the spring as its body slowly and fully heals.
Given that the turtle is at least 18 years old (the animal had been tagged previously, which is how the zoo was so easily able to gauge its age), he's relatively young for a box turtle and should have a long, healthy life in front of him.
On average, box turtles live until about 50 years old.
The Maryland Zoo press release about the turtle and his LEGO wheelchair noted that as soon as the animal is healed it will be released into the wild once again.