This is Blade, a cute little tortoise who has a metabolic bone disease that makes him unable to carry his own shell.
After Blade’s owner, Iris Pleste, noticed her Greek tortoise seemed sluggish, she took him to her Germany-based veterinarian, Dr. Carsten Plischke.
“The bones were like rubber and the musculature had clearly diminished,” Plischke told CNET.
While thinking about his son’s Lego toys, Dr. Plischke had a stroke of inspiration to help Blade.
Why not build Blade a custom “skate” that would hold the shell off the ground, while he used his legs to propel him forward?
So he did!
Admittedly, Blade wasn’t immediately impressed.
But he certainly came around. Just look at him go!
According to CNET, the Lego wheelchair consists of six pieces to help Blade stay mobile, “including four wheels with tyre treads — glued to the underside of Blade’s shell with special glue.”
A bonus of the contraption is that it helps him gain strength, so that eventually he won’t need the “training wheels.”
Vets have to be particularly creative, Plischke said, because there are no products made specifically to help animals be mobile.
“For people there are walkers, rollators or prostheses but for animals there are no companies that produce something like that,” he said. “The size variation of animals means they can’t establish uniform products. So you have to come up with creative solutions; every animal needs its own treatment.”
Here’s more on Blade’s story:
Unfortunately told in German with no subtitles.