Tortoise's artificial limb came from Ace Hardware

July 21, 2011 - 6:29 PM
Amputee Tortoise

An African tortoise moves across pavement outside the Washington State University veterinary teaching hospital on Thursday, July 21, 2011 in Pullman Wash. The artificial limb put on the tortoise at didn't come from a high tech prosthetics lab. It came from an Ace Hardware store. The caster style wheel cost around $7, according to the two veterinarians who installed it on the tortoise after amputating a damaged front leg. (AP Photo/Nicholas K. Geranios)

PULLMAN, Wash. (AP) — The artificial limb put on an African tortoise at Washington State University didn't come from a high-tech prosthetics lab. It came from Ace Hardware in Pullman.

The caster-style wheel cost around $7, according to the two veterinarians who installed it on the tortoise after amputating a damaged front leg. They say the wheel was purchased off-the-shelf, as was the epoxy that attached it to the shell.

The tortoise was shown to the public Thursday, and spent his time eating grass and other plants outside the WSU veterinary hospital.

Doctors Nicol Finch and Courtney Watkins say the tortoise is moving well and gaining weight. They say this is the first time they've put a wheel on a tortoise, although the procedure has been done elsewhere.