JERUSALEM — Arava the disabled turtle is using her new set of wheels to get around in more ways than one. Officials at the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo say the 10-year-old spurred tortoise has begun mating since being fitted with a custom skateboard to overcome paralysis of her hind legs.
The 55-pound turtle is unable to move herself forward with her front legs alone. So the zoo's staff built her a metal board with two wheels that can be strapped to her stomach.
Arava arrived in Jerusalem a few months ago from a petting zoo in southern Israel with the unexplained handicap, and found no reptile romance. Zoo curator Shmulik Yedvad says it's not that Arava has come out of her shell with her unique new wheelchair, but that a particularly amorous 10-year-old male has been after her.