A disabled turtle is now able to walk again thanks to the miracle of — LEGO? Yes, LEGO. And a highly creative and compassionate veterinarian who designed a special wheelchair for the tiny, five-ounce turtle named Blade, who suffers from a crippling bone disease that left the little guy unable to use his legs.
You can watch a full report on the miraculous, and miraculously cute, turtle — who is more accurately called a tortoise, because he moves mainly on land — thanks to Yahoo! News, above. This heartwarming story comes from Germany, where pet owner Iris Peste, who owns three turtles, noticed last year that little Blade could not move as fast as her other two pets.
And given that they are all turtles, “not very fast” meant “really slow.”
So she took Blade to see veterinarian Dr. Carsten Plischke of Bielefeld, Germany. Dr, Plischke diagnosed the turtle with a metabolic bone disorder that made Blade’s legs so weak that the tiny turtle could not even hold up the weight of his shell.
But Plischke had an idea — an idea that came from watching his six-year-old son play with toys. Specifically, with LEGO toys.
“We mounted LEGO wheels on the tortoise Blade because he had a bone metabolism illness and his shell was too heavy and he had a loss of muscles… That’s why he couldn’t pick up himself and walk any more. The bones were like rubber and the musculature had clearly diminished.”
Plischke carefully affixed two Lego pieces to the turtle’s belly with glue. He then attached four little LEGO wheels, creating a LEGO wheelchair — for lack of a better term — that allowed Blade to push himself around with the little strength he has left in his legs.
The Lego device supports Blade’s weight, meaning he needs very little strength to move himself around on the wheels — which came complete with tires made by the manufacturer of more tires than another company in the world.
No, not Goodyear or Firestone. That’s the Denmark-based LEGO company, too, which produces more than 380 million tires per year.
Of course, all of those tires are small enough to fit on a miniature vehicle made out of Lego — or on a wheelchair for a disabled turtle, as in Blade’s case.
Plischke says that the exercise Blade now gets by pushing himself around on the Lego wheels will also allow the little turtle to rebuild the muscles in his legs. With enough activity, thanks to the Lego device, the vet believes that the little turtle may one day be able to walk again — 100 percent LEGO free.