A 90-year-old tortoise is now capable of moving twice her normal speed after being fitted with a set of wheels from a model aircraft.
"It was like fitting her with a turbo charger- she's going double the speed she used to. She uses her back legs to push herself along. She seems quite happy, but it's difficult to tell with a tortoise," Jude Ryder, the owner of the tortoise has been quoted as saying to the Telegraph.
The pet tortoise, which goes by the name of Mrs T, was hibernating when a rat attacked and chewed off her front legs in early April, in Pembroke, West Wales.
"I am 90 years old and went to sleep last october. Woke up with a hungry rat eating my legs. I feel great and don't want to leave this world yet. Please help me move around so I can live another 80 years. x x x," notes a Facebook post dedicated to the tortoise.
Dale Sinclair Jones (Ryder's 37-year-old son) along with Linzi James started a Facebook campaign to raise funds for surgeries to save the pet.
Jude Ryder's local vet tried to save Mrs T, but was afraid as it would be difficult for the tortoise to live without being mobile. After running up a £1,000 vet bill, Ryder turned to her son Dale, seeking help.
Dale, who is a mechanical engineer, designed the front wheels and used resin to attach them to the tortoise's front shells. Ryder bought Mrs T when the tortoise was in her 60s for her son who was eight then.
Explaining her pet's enhanced mobility, Ryder said, "She took to them straight away, but she has had to learn how to turn and stop. She can get a good speed up, much faster than before. Mrs T is still quiet young for a tortoise. She could go on for another 50 years- all she need is a new set of tyres every now and again."
She further added saying, "We were afraid she may have to be put down, but her new set of wheels have saved her life. She has the run of the garden again and we can always find her because she leaves very strange tracks behind wherever she goes."