0624 GMT September 18, 2021
Morgan Brem, a Dallas Zoo intern, created the scratching device for Sunny the radiated tortoise, according to goodnewsnetwork.org.
Made from broom heads, it’s perfect for the little animal to itch the impossible-to-reach spots on the top of his shell.
Robin Ryan, supervisor of ambassador animal experiences at Dallas Zoo in the US state of Texas, said: “She made it adjustable to see if our ambassador armadillo would also be interested, but so far, we have only seen Sunny use it.
“The base is wood with a turf mat cover for belly scratch opportunity, the frame is PVC, and the brush heads are held on with conduit fittings.”
To “maximize scratching abilities”, the top brush was lowered twice for Sunny, who has been at the Dallas Zoo since 1980.
Robin said tortoises’ shells are part of their spine and they have nerve endings which run on the top.
Ryan explains that: “The name ‘radiated tortoise’ comes from the pattern on Sunny’s shell. The top part of his shell has yellow lines that radiate out from the center.
“They kind of look like sun bursts, hence the name. His engaging personality helps inspire guests to want to create a better world for animals.”