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The Highcroft Blog

Touche the tortoise on wheels

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Hot Wheels toy cars are known for their agility and speed. And that’s exactly what Touché the tortoise has been revived to…well almost.

A much loved 8 year old tortoise, called Touché Purnell, had an unfortunate accident at home last week which sadly resulted in the removal of one of his back legs. However, thanks to the ingenuity of veterinary surgeon, Sonya Miles, Touche’s leg was replaced by an unusual but speedy accessory.

With the help of veterinary nurse Millie Gardner, Sonya replaced Touche’s missing leg with a wheel by fitting the base of a Hot Wheels car to the underside of his shell using a special resin.

The surgery, which took place at Highcroft Veterinary Hospital, took around an hour and a half and was a complete success. Touché recovered incredibly quickly, eating and moving around within an hour, seemingly un-phased by his new prosthetic.

Sonya explains “We decided to attach the wheel to avoid him traumatising the underside of his shell by dragging his back end.  It can be taken off in the future if we feel that he has enough strength to hold himself up, but he could be fine with a wheel for the rest of his life.  He may even need a bigger one fitted at some point; tortoises carry on growing until they are 10-15 years old so he could still double in size.”

A few days later Touche’s devoted owner, Lisa Purnell, is relieved to report that he still seems completely relaxed with his new mode of transport, zooming around the garden as if nothing’s happened.

Following his recovery, Touché has become nothing short of a celebrity with every paper in the region looking for the scoop on his brilliant story and speedy recovery. 

Touché the tortoise with wheels

Meet Touché- the tortoise from Bristol with toy wheels for a leg.

Posted by BBC Points West on Wednesday, June 10, 2015


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