This 23-year-old tortoise was attacked by a rat in his yard — and lost the use of his front legs. Now he’s scampering around once again with the help of a new set of wheels.
A shelled superstar named Eddie is garnering a lot of media attention after a strong comeback following a double amputation.
The pet tortoise named Eddie can be seen making his way around a tile floor in the video shown at the top of this article — adeptly maneuvering across the floor with the aid of his new “appendages.”
“It’s gotten a bit crazy,” Eddie’s owner, Emma McNicholas, told Fox News Digital in a phone interview about the media attention little Eddie has received so far.
The McNicholas family, who live in the Northwest of England in a small town called Warrington, were asked last year if they would take on Eddie — even though they already owned another tortoise (and had for the past 17 years).
This brave little tortoise can now scamper around the house with the help of a set of wheels. (He needed a gastric tube for meds and food after his surgery — that’s shown here taped to his shell.)
(Emma McNicholas/Caters News)
Eddie’s previous owner “said they couldn’t look after him anymore,” said McNicholas.
“And they took him on from somebody else.”
Although Eddie might have had a few early bumps in the road, the McNicholas family offered a home “where he could live his best life and roam about,” said McNicholas.
In May, Eddie suffered what is thought to be an animal attack — possibly an attack by a rat — after he escaped into the yard at night.
“We had put Eddie to bed as usual, because they both sleep indoors,” she said of the family’s pet tortoises.
Pet tortoises can live for up to 100 years, according to sources including Tortoiseowner.com. Another pet tortoise is shown here.
(Fox News Digital)
During the day, “we bring them out in the garden and let them roam about,” she added.
Eddie — who is “a lot faster” than his tortoise sister — “managed to escape his enclosure inside and took himself out of the door and back into the back garden.”
It wasn’t until she came down to ready the kids for school that she saw that Eddie “was not where he was supposed to be.”
“I came out, picked him up — and he was covered in blood.”
The family began searching frantically, and when McNicholas opened the door to her back garden to let her dogs out, she saw Eddie on the back patio, facing away from her.
“I came out, picked him up — and he was covered in blood,” she said, noting she could barely see his face.
None of the local veterinarians in their small town could take Eddie, but they found an exotic animal vet in nearby St. Helens.
“My husband rushed him over,” she said.
The veterinarian surmised that a rat attacked Eddie while he was outside in the family’s backyard. Though the family quickly got him to a vet, the tortoise’s front legs could not be saved. That hasn’t stopped him one bit.
(Emma McNicholas/Caters News)
The vet surmised that a rat attacked Eddie after his escape into the back garden. His front legs could not be saved, the family said.
Eddie stayed in the hospital for a week after his double amputation on July 1 — “we were really missing him,” said McNicholas.
“He had quite big wounds that needed to heal.”
After Eddie returned home, he was on “daily bandage changes and a special ointment.”
“We even ended up taking him on holiday with us for a week because we couldn’t trust anybody else to care for him,” she said.
Tortoises are “escape artists,” according to Coolpetsadvice.com. Here, a cherished 22-year-old tortoise is shown at home with his family.
(Fox News Digital)
The vet was able to rig Eddie up with an “axle” to pop new wheels on when he needs them, fixed to the bottom of his shell with resin.
(In the video seen at the top of this article and in some of the photos here, Eddie’s gastric tube is seen crossing his shell; he needed this for about three weeks for pain meds and for food after his amputations.)
The axle is “two little bolts. I’ve got clips on the end of them and that’s where the wheels go. So they clip on and off,” said McNicholas.
She can “swap out” the wheels, she said.
“I just got some new ones on eBay,” she said.
“[The kids] loved him before all this. He is even more entertaining for the children now.”
So how is Eddie doing now?
He hasn’t lost a step. He’s cruising around the McNicholas home and yard with his new wheels.
“He’s amazing,” McNicholas said. “He was really alert straight away after surgery … and has not stopped ever since.”
What do her young kids — Alfie, 11, and Lola, 8 — think of Eddie now?
“They loved him before all this,” she said. “He is even more entertaining for the children now.”
To watch Eddie scamper across the floor, watch the video at the top of this article — or click here to access it.
Deirdre Reilly is a senior editor, lifestyle, with Fox News Digital.