Veterinarian uses screen door repair kit to save tortoise’s shell

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

SAN DIEGO – Using material he bought at Home Depot, a San Diego veterinarian performed an innovative procedure that likely saved the life of an injured tortoise.

Dr. Daniel Barbour said nothing like it had ever been attempted at the Humane Society of San Diego.

“I did have to get a little bit creative,” he admitted to KSWB. “I’ve never done something like this before.”

It all started two weeks ago, when someone brought in an injured tortoise. It had a large hole in its shell just above the shoulder, making conventional surgery impossible.

“I’m actually pretty proud of my accomplishment,” Barbour said.

He went to Home Depot and bought a screen-door repair kit and some fiberglass epoxy. Using sand paper and the epoxy resin, he smoothed out the shell and patched over the broken area, using the screen to form a prosthetic shell.  The patched shell will protect the tortoise from predators.

While he had it on the operating table, Barbour added an identification microchip to the tortoises back leg. If the reptile gets lost again, an animal shelter or veterinarian will be able to find out where it came from. The Humane Society will begin offering the microchipping service to the public starting on May 23. Owners of pet tortoises or turtles  can bring them in to have the ID chips installed. Barbour says runaway turtles happen more than you would think.

“On a warm sunny day, when he gets up and moving, I have to keep my eyes on him. He’s pretty quick,” Barbour said.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

About FOX 2 News

FOX 2 and KPLR 11 in St. Louis cover the news in Missouri and Illinois. There are over 68 hours of live news and local programming on-air each week. Our website and live video streams operate 24/7. Download our apps for alerts and follow us on social media for updates in your feed.

President Harry Truman said: “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” That spirit is alive and well at Fox 2. Our teamwork is on display each and every day.

Our news slogan is: “Coverage You Can Count On.” We quite frankly are too busy to worry about who gets the credit. Our main concern is serving the viewer.

We go where the stories take us. Whether it be Washington, D.C when a Belleville man opened fire during a congressional baseball game practice or to Puerto Rico where local Ameren crews restored power after more than 5 months in the dark.

Coverage You Can Count On means “Waking up your Day” with our top-rated morning show. From 4:00 am-10:00 am we are leading the way with breaking news. But our early morning crew also knows how to have some fun! Our strong commitment to the communities we serve is highlighted with our Friday neighborhood shows.

Our investigative unit consists of three reporters. Elliott Davis focuses on government waste, Chris Hayes is our investigative reporter, and Mike Colombo is our consumer reporter. They work in unison with the news department by sharing resources and ideas.

We continue to cover breaking news aggressively and relied on our seasoned journalists to make a difference with the stories we covered. The shooting of Arnold Police Officer Ryan O’Connor is just one example of that. Jasmine Huda was the only reporter who had exclusive access to the O’Connor family during his amazing rehabilitation in Colorado.

Last, but certainly not least, FOX 2 and KPLR 11 are committed to covering local politics. We host debates among candidates and have the most extensive presidential election coverage. Our commitment to politics isn’t just during an election year. We produce two political shows that air every weekend.


Latest News

More News