BALTIMORE — The Maryland Zoo is preparing to release a wild Eastern box turtle who has been in their care since 2018 back into his range in Druid Hill Park.
The turtle received international attention when the Zoo shared details of its customized LEGO wheelchair, which allowed proper healing and mobility during recovery.
In 2018, the turtle was found injured in Druid Hill Park and taken to The Maryland Zoo for veterinary care.
The Zoo’s veterinary team performed surgery to stabilize the turtle’s severely fractured shell. Metal bone plates, sewing clasps and surgical wire now hold the delicate shell fragments together.
After considering the challenge of keeping the bottom of his shell off the ground and allowing him to maintain mobility, the vet team worked with a LEGO enthusiast to design a wheelchair.
Since July 2018, the turtle has recovered and gained strength.
The Zoo veterinary team recently determined he is ready for release into the wild. He will be fitted with a radio transmitter so staff can find him periodically to check on his well-being.