Lucky and his girlfriend Lovey, lived a peaceful happy life with their owner Sally Pyne, her six cats and three snakes in sunny Petaluma - until that fateful July 31st night when a vicious raccoon attacked the box turtle, leaving bloody stumps, where his two front legs used to be.
Sally rushed the turtle to the vet who amputated what was left of Lucky's front legs and bandaged him up. Because of his trauma and the amount of blood he had lost, they were not sure the little guy would survive.
However, Lucky was not a quitter. He continued to show amazing spirit and be mobile by pushing himself with his hind legs and mouth. That's when Sally knew she had to do something to help the little guy live the rest of his life more normally.
She approached North Bay veterinarian Robert Jereb, who is well-known for his 'out of the box' solutions for injured animals. The vet spent the entire day browsing around a hardware store, before hitting upon a brilliant idea.
He purchased quarter-sized furniture gliders or coasters, and taped them onto the front stumps - It was a perfect fit! Lucky loves his new 'legs' and is mobile again!
Box turtles are so named because of their defensive techniques against predators. If scared or threatened for any reason, they can retract completely inside their shells and stay there as long as they need to. Both Sally and the veterinarian are therefore a little puzzled as to why Lucky was unable to do that, when the raccoon attacked him.
They believe that it may be either because the little fella was a bit overweight or that he may have some shell deformity , which prevents him from retracting completely. Whatever it is, we just hope that the aptly named turtle remains safe and healthy for the remainder of his 100+ year life!