Giant Disabled Tortoise Has Something to Shell-ebrate

tortoise wheelchair

NEW ORLEANS, LA (June 3, 2021) – George Bailey may not be the fastest animal on wheels, but steady wins the race. George is and 11-year-old Sulcata Tortoise who his mom, Jaime Loebener saved from an exotic animal rescue in Knoxville, TN. Born with a metabolic bone disease, George’s bones never fully developed in his back legs, leaving them weak and unable to support his own weight. Jaime says, “He uses his front legs to pull his way around slowly and clumsily. 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.”

Since a Sulcata Tortoise can live to be over 100 years old, Jaime knew she needed to find a solution to help George to walk on his own. After searching online she found Walkin’ Pets, a pet mobility company based out of NH, that had previously built a custom wheelchair for a much smaller tortoise named Scoot Reeves who weight just a few pounds. The Walkin’ Pets team was up for the challenge! Designing a custom tortoise wheelchair with a special base featuring a convex support structure to accommodate the natural contour of George’s under shell and a harnessing system designed to expand with George as he grows. Jaime says that George took to his new wheels right away, “George’s Walkin’ Wheels wheelchair is amazing! I put George on it, and he is able to move himself around!”


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