SOUTHAVEN, Miss. (WREG) — A Gulf Coast box turtle that lost its back legs after being hit by a car has some new wheels thanks to some Mississippi kids.
The turtle, named Lt. Dan, was taken in by the Central Mississippi Turtle Rescue in September and has been living in a foster home in Olive Branch.
On Wednesday night, members of the First Lego League in Desoto County got together to build the 20-year-old turtle some new back legs.
“I was thinking of a Velcro wrap with some wheels on the side. They’ve really thought about this,” said foster mom Jennifer Westrich.
The First Lego League is made up of home-schooled children between the ages of 9 and 14.
The team worked nearly two hours to assemble the perfect all-terrain wheelchair. After three fittings, they got the reptile rolling,
“It is really cool to see a turtle in its own tiny car,” said First Lego League member River DeHaven. “Being able to let the turtle go outside and enjoy itself was definitely a good feeling.”
Lt. Dan’s foster mom said the turtle has been getting around by using its front legs and dragging itself, damaging its shell.
“These are marks from just scrapes, wear and tear, from only having the two legs because he can’t really get his shell up off the ground,” Westrich said.
Because the turtle is injured, it cannot be returned to the wild. Westrich said her three daughters have been helping care for the animal, and Lt. Dan will likely be staying with them for good.
“They are not used to fosters leaving the house. We have many foster fails,” she said.