My story is kind of long, but quite interesting. Hi, I am Stumpy, the tortoise with a wheel. I am an African Spurrred, or Sulcata, tortoise. I am about 10 years old. When I was young something tragic happened to me that left me without a front left leg and only half of a front right foot. I don't remember the accident, and my wonderful owner Wildman Phil doesn't know what happened either. All he knows is that he came home one day to find me and a buddy in a milk crate on his front step. I was already a 2 1/2 legged tortoise at that time.

After spending about a year making my way around his large grassy yard hanging out with the occassional tortoise friend that would make his way by me, Wildman Phil and his neighbor decided to try and help me get more mobile.
After throwing around many ideas they settled on a painless, heatless, and cosmetically fair solution to my immobility. Fabricator Ken Hillery and Wildman Phil fashioned a bracket with a wheel on it. The attachment surgery was painless albeit slightly uncomfortable as I had to lay in a vise for 24 hours on my side. The bracket was attached with none other than "Liquid Nail" adhesive, an idea which actually came from Wildman Phil's wife, Teddi. Boy, I love her.

The original wheel was a sporty red razor scooter wheel with a sealed bearing unit. It worked wonderfully and I felt very free. I roamed the yard with all the other tortoises and no one could make fun of my dissability anymore. I doubled in size in the next year from all the extra meal that came with mobility and the loss of extra energy expenditure. In fact, because of the growth spurt that I experienced I outgrew my sporty razor wheel. In fact I caught the bracket on a bush and the whole thing broke off of me. In 2008 when I came out of hibernation (something I was not able to do before the wheel) my wheel wouldn't even touch the ground and I was back to sqare one as the dissabled tortoise on the block.

Thankfully my grunts and groans worked and Wildman Phil realized I needed an upgrade. In early March, 2008 I went back into surgery not in a vise this time as I had outgrown that, but rather in a custom-built clamping system which kept me securely in place while the new application of "Liquid Nail" cured. And when I was once again freed into the yard with my new apparatus it was not only bigger but classier as well. I gave up the red razor scooter sporty look of my youth for a more destinctive and classy look of a spoked rim, white-walled tire ensemble. This unit is greased with a lithium based marine grease and will withstand any of the environmental extremes I will put it through.

Now, I can once again chomp away at the grass and flowers at any desired pace. I can also quickly escape from my fellow compound mate Jack as he tries to intimidate me when I get too close to his ladies. And don't tell him, but when Jack is under the oleanders on the other side of the yard I can do a little schmoozing of my own. The tortoisettes, as I like to call them, really dig the tortoise with a wheel.

EMAIL Stumpy The Tortoise



School FUNdraising program

Stumpy's MySpace page

Facebook members search for Stumpy TheTortoise and add him as a friend!