Friday, July 22, 2011

Injured Tortoise Now Locomotes with a Steampunk Accessory

by Sara N.

Photo by WSU News Service
Animals who make miraculous recoveries after traumatic injuries always get me right in the heart muscle. Gamera the tortoise is no exception.

The 12-year-old African spur-thighed tortoise had to have his left front leg amputated following a bad burn, the Seattle PI reported Wednesday. To help him move around, veterinarians glued a $7 swiveling wheel from a hardware shop to Gamera's shell.

The 23-pound tortoise has adapted nicely to his artificial "limb" and now scoots around like a reptile from a steampunk novel. You can see him in action in the video below.

Isn't your heart warmed? You can read more about Gamera and the procedure at the Seattle PI link.

While we're all saying awwww, here's video of Oscar, the cat who lost his back paws in a combine accident and got himself a pair of bionic replacements in 2010. What's especially unusual about his prosthetics is that they're drilled into his bones, and his skin grows over them, like a deer's antlers. It's promising new technology for both animal and human amputees. Check out Oscar in action in the video below; the surprised glee of the medical staff is contagious.

If you can't get enough of Oscar, this link has a video update of his progress.

I don't know about you, but I'm in favor of steampunk appendages on injured animals. If I could make one suggestion for veterinarians around the globe: more brass cogs.
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