Tortoise In Brazil Loses Shell In Fire - Gets Worlds First 3D-Printed Shell

A tortoise is unlike many animals since it cannot bolt away from danger. The image of the slow-moving tortoise, one popularized centuries ago in the fable of the "Tortoise and the Hare," is mostly right. Nature, however, did give the tortoise an equalizer to help it out. Tortoises, of course, have shells to protect them from danger.

Unfortunately, risk comes in many forms. Fire is one of them. In a terribly sad story, a tortoise found itself a victim of a fire. The poor creature lost it shell due to the burns. Its life expectancy did not look too long. Thankfully, a caring veterinarian came along to help. And the help was stunningly unique: he helped fit the tortoise with a 3D-printed shell.

Dr. Rodrigo Rabello found the tortoise in a bad way. A brush fire took away 85% of its shell, and the sick reptile had pneumonia. Rabello named the tortoise Freddy, after the terribly burned villain of the Nightmare on Elm Street films. The tortoise's situation, however, was no laughing matter. To save the tortoise, Dr. Rabello put a team together that included other vets, a dentist, and a 3D designer.

Dubbed the "Animal Avengers," the 3D printing team helped other animals before, so this is not an experimental process. Treating Freddy represents their first time replacing a tortoise's shell, though. The procedure worked at an incredibly low cost of only $136. Freddy the Tortoise might now go on to live an extraordinarily long life. He has the Animal Avengers team to thank for that.

What do you think of Freddy getting a 3D printed shell? Let us know in the comments - and make sure you pass this along to your friends and family!