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TULY THE VERY SPEEDY TORTOISE

TULY the tortoise is now faster than all her friends after having a wheel fitted to replace a missing leg.

A rat gnawed off her front leg during hibernation, but now with the help of a toy wheel and some Velcro she is fully mobile again – and her pals are finding it hard to keep pace.

Tuly, who is thought to be 45 years old, is now scooting around the garden at such a pace even her carers have a job to keep up.

Philip Chubb who’s daughter Eleanor runs a local Tortoise group, made the prosthetic limb.

He said: ‘ She came to us after the vets had operated to save her life last year.

‘She was mobile but very off balance and slow. We knew we needed to think of something that would help her without hurting her obviously.’

‘She was rubbing away her shell because it was scraping along the ground when she walked. It was a problem that would have lead to more complications.’

Mr Chubb, 64, found the answer at a car boot sale. He bought a toy tractor and removed one of the wheels.

Next he fashioned a brace using metal and Velcro strips so the ‘leg’ could be removed easily for cleaning.

It was fitted last month and Tuly immediately started scooting around.

‘Her balance was corrected. She didn’t look like a sinking ship anymore and then she just took off.

‘She clearly didn’t mind having it on and seemed delighted to scoot off to feed on the weeds.

‘She’s now actually the fastest tortoise we have which is rather funny. She should be called Speedy.’

Tuly, a female Herman tortoise is thought to be around 45 and will likely reach 90 now thanks to her new leg.

‘Our priority was to get her mobile again without damaging the shell which is living and it seems to have been a great success. She would certainly let you know if she wasn’t happy.’

ENDS