Like one giant tortoise, who could barely move due to a condition in his legs — until one group got him his very own wheelchair.
George Bailey is an 11-year-old Sulcata tortoise who was rescued by Jaime Loebener. But George was born with a condition called metabolic bone disease, which caused his rear legs to underdevelop.
The condition often affects reptiles who have been kept in captivity, due to an imbalance of calcium and phosphorus in their diets, according to Walkin’ Pets. And while no tortoise is known for its speed, George had an especially difficult time getting his 70-pound body around.
“He uses his front legs to pull his way around slowly and clumsily,” Jaime told Walkin’ Pets. “The bigger he’s gotten, the more difficult this has been for him. He currently weighs close to 70 lbs., but may grow to weigh over 200 lbs.”
Tortoises also can live up to 100 years, and it seemed like George would soon be totally immobile for the rest of his life. Thankfully, they found a solution.
Walkin’ Pets is a group dedicated to supporting aging and disabled animals. “There was a day when injured pets were ‘no good anymore,’” their mission statement reads. “When an animal was hurt, became lame or incontinent, or was for any reason no longer wanted, they were put down. Not anymore.”
So when Jaime saw that Walkin’ Pets had previously helped an injured turtle named Scoot Reeves get a wheelchair, she thought they might be able to also help George.
Soon, George got his own wheelchair, made from a mobility scooter and a harness that wrapped around his shell. They specially made sure the wheelchair would be comfortable around the tortoise’s body.
Finally, George was on the move.
It worked like a charm, and for the first time George was able to comfortably get around on his own.
“[George Bailey] is very enthusiastic about his wheelchair,” Jaime told Walkin’ Pets.
What an amazing way to help this disabled tortoise! We’re sure this will change George Bailey’s whole life, finally allowing him to get around.