Tina was fitted with a plastic wheel four years ago to replace her rear right leg. But increasingly warmer autumns mean Tina hibernates later in the year, leaving her battling to cope with muddy grass and slopes and dead leaves. So the rudimentary wheel has now been replaced with an air-filled tyre and a spring suspension system with shock absorber.
The spur thigh tortoise was donated to Longleat in 2002 when she seemed to be depressed because of her lack of manoeuvrability. She rapidly recovered when the plastic wheel was fitted but it wore out and buckled over time as she tried to access rougher parts of her enclosure.
Darren Beasley, the animal's carer at Longleat, said: 'The new system is incredible and allows Tina to go all over the place. She is one of the oldest tortoises we have here at Longleat but you would never know it. She is now among the fastest and certainly making the most of the warm weather prior to hibernating. And she can cope with any terrain -- it's amazing.'