Tortoise With Severely Cracked Shell Saved By Unique Methods

A 35-40 year old African spurred tortoise was recently found in Fallbrook after it had fallen from a 10-foot wall.  A man and his dog found the tortoise and called San Diego County Animal Services after realizing that the shell of this large, 70-pound tortoise was severely cracked in three different places.  

County Animal Services assessed the injuries and realized it would cost several thousand dollars to treat the tortoise and repair its damages shell.  With the assistance of a donor-driven program called the Spirit Fund, the tortoise underwent surgery on Tuesday, April 17.  County Animal Services posted this update:  "The tortoise underwent surgery today where veterinarians put screws into the shell and used ties on the screws to hold the broken pieces together. Then the same paste material that dentures are made from was applied to help seal the cracks. Animal Services say his prognosis is good." 

The veterinarian put the broken shell together again using screws, wire, epoxy and plastic wrap. The photographs show the animal from the front with his head tucked in.

Now that the tortoise has been treated, it has a good chance at living to its 70 year life expectancy.  County Animal Services Director Dan DeSousa, said “This tortoise will get the extensive, aggressive care and long-term observation that he needs to regain his health and hopefully live to a great, old age.”

San Diego County Animal Services is looking for his owner. If the owner can’t be found, the tortoise will not become available for adoption. He’ll be transferred to a rescue group that has the training and qualifications to provide the necessary care.

Photos: San Diego County Animal Shelter

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