June 12, 2009

Injured tortoises get pink shell casts

British veterinarians said a pair of tortoises mauled in a dog attack have been outfitted with pink plaster casts to help their shells heal.

Veterinarians at Amey Zoo near Hemel Hempstead, England, said the turtles were rescued from the dog by a member of the public June 4 and are expected to make full recoveries, albeit with slightly deformed shells, The Daily Telegraph reported Friday.

The vets said two other tortoises were mauled by the dog, but one died soon after it was rescued by the passerby and the other was put down because of the severity of its injuries.

Kate Cornell, an animal collection officer for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said the surviving reptiles are staying at her home while the organization tries to track down the original owners. She said the RSPCA nicknamed the reptiles Humpty and Dumpty.

These tortoises suffered a great deal of pain and trauma, Cornell said. "We need to find out what happened to them and also if they have an owner out there who is missing them.

At the moment we don't know if the tortoises were abandoned or had just escaped so any information would be very useful.