Twentynine Palms -- Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs aided two injured desert tortoises in being outfitted with 3D-printed prosthesis May 19.
Biologists with NREA discovered the two imperiled members of the threatened species in late March after they had been attacked by what was presumed to be coyotes. The biologists rescued the tortoises within a week of each other; one having lost one limb and the other having lost both front limbs.
“I work with caring people who acknowledge that we need to protect our environment, and the creatures that live in it, for quality of our habitat because that influences our quality of life,” said Dr. Brian Henen, ecologist, NREA.
NREA brought the desert tortoises, monikered with the names MC3402 and MC1197, to Dr. Tom Boyer, veterinarian and reptile specialist, Pet Hospital of Penasquitos, located in San Diego, Calif. Boyer is one of the only reptile specialists in Southern California. When the tortoises arrived, Boyer and his staff worked diligently to amputate and suture closed their ailing limbs and other than these injuries they were in good health; they were well-hydrated, well-nourished and tested negative for the Upper Respiratory Track Disease Syndrome, also known as Mycoplasmosis, that has been a problem for the threatened species.