Bite’s right for Ernie
African spurred tortoise, Ernie, can happily munch away on his favourite food again after having his beak trimmed.
Keepers noticed the tortoise’s bite wasn’t quite meeting properly in the middle and although not causing him any distress, the zoo vet was able to trim it back quickly and easily.
DZG CEO Peter Suddock said: “The vet used a mini orthopaedic grinder to trim Ernie’s beak, a piece of equipment used to treat claw, bone, hoof and horn on other animals. “It took about 20 minutes in the zoo’s Animal Hospital, then we kept an eye on him for the rest of the day. “Ernie didn’t seem at all bothered by his adventure and was soon back in the paddock the next day munching on his favourite dandelions.”
The beak of a tortoise is made from the tough protein material, keratin, which is also found in human finger and toe nails.
CAPTION: Back to normal for Ernie after his trip to the Animal Hospital. Senior keeper Laura Robbins treats the African spurred tortoise to his favourite dandelion plants in the paddock.