Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Tortoises breathe easy after fire drama

Firefighters saved the lives of four giant tortoises after a fire at an Austrian Zoo by strapping oxygen masks onto them.

The reptiles suffered severe smoke inhalation when the roof of their enclosure caught fire at Poestlingberg Zoo in Linz.

Quick-thinking firemen and zoo staff adapted oxygen masks designed for humans to save the lives of the 140lb African-spurred tortoises.

"We expect them to make a full recovery," vet Isabella Eberle said. "The masks were designed for human use but we managed to make them fit."

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