Abilene Zoo tortoise proves to be “most amazing patient” during CT scan at Texas hospital

It’s not everyday emergency room staff in Central Texas are called on to care for a giant tortoise.

But that’s exactly what happened recently at My Emergency Room 24/7 when the Abilene Zoo brought in a 12-year-old Aldabra tortoise named Ripley for assessment.

“She was showing some signs of discomfort in her back left leg,” the zoo posted on social media April 21. “Initial checks did not reveal anything.”

And so, officials wanted to “take a deeper dive” to figure out a proper diagnosis.

“We needed to get a CT scan,” the zoo explained.

That would create a full 3D image of what’s going on inside of Ripley.

Ripley weighs 176 pounds. Photo: My Emergency Room 24/7.Facebook

The local hospital stepped up with the very unique — and heavy — request.

Ripley getting ready for her CT scan. Photo: Abilene Zoo/Facebook

A mild sedative was used to get Ripley ready for the diagnostic scan.

Ripley was a model patient. Photo: Abilene Zoo/Facebook

Ripley weighs a whopping 176 pounds, but with a life expectancy of up to 150 years, she could grow to 500 pounds when she is at maturity, which is around 20- to 30-years-old.

Medical officials at the hospital couldn’t be happier to provide their expertise.

A most unique patient. Photo: My Emergency Room 24/7/Facebook

“Thank you Abilene Zoo for trusting us to help!” the facility wrote. “Ripley is so amazing! We’re always here for all your Zoo friends.”

Veterinarians are now assessing Ripley’s test results. They are keeping an eye on her, and will come up with the best treatment plan to get her back to normal on all fours.

Officials also thanked everyone for their help.

“We LOVE the community and all the help they offer us!” the zoo added.

About the author

Recovering newspaper reporter.

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