Animal Stories - People Talking About Tortoises


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Crystal Galvan - 2014-04-19
Hi I live in phoenix az. I got two African spurrs, I have had them since they were quarter size about 5 or 6 years now. One is bigger than the other and I do see them either mating or practicing. They have a big hole that they both live in. I feed them trimmings from my grocery store I work at and water them every day. I really never knew much about them but they always seemed happy. Lately the smaller turttle has not been coming out every day and I have noticed she dug a little tunnel on the other side of their hole away from the male. She would normally be directly behind him. Is it possible for her to be laying eggs or is she too young? When they were babies I always had a heat lamp but once they dug their hole they didn't come to their little house anymore so I have not had a heat lamp for about 4 years. They seem very healthy no signs of any sickness and shells are perfect. Just worried about her not coming out, she is too deep for me to try and pull her out. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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Anonymous - 2008-10-05
Hi Doug,

I'm wondering where I can get the Vit. E for my tortoise?

-Thanks!

" If you want to really perk up your Tortoise, apply vitaman E on the entire Tortoise and rub in with your fingers. This keeps their shells beautiful and healthy. It also relieves any discomforts they are having from shedding of their skin. Doug Wolkow, Highlands Ranch, CO." - Doug Wolkow

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  • Patty - 2010-06-25
    Really don't rub any oil or waxy material onto your tortoise's shell! They need to have a clean surface to exchange heat with their environment. Do not paint them with polish/paint. Do not rub oils on them. Do not apply any oils, period. Vitamin E, do not use either. What do I need to do to get this through to you people?
  • Pam Lane - 2013-03-03
    Spend time researching please!
  • Dr. Ray - 2013-05-03
    Vitamin E is really good for tortoise shells....you don't use it all the time but it does not hurt tortoise heating issues. You do not paint tortoises either! Vitamin e and paint are two different things. Whoever said put vitamin e on shell is 100 percent correct..
  • mallorys12 - 2014-03-10
    As long as they have a heat lamp and and uv lamp that's all they need, and a good dust for their shells, should stay nice anyway.
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Animal-World info on Sulcata Tortoise
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Lisa Woodward - 2012-09-09
I just bought a 90 lb Sulcata Tortoise. I have had her for 4 days and we are getting to know each other. She has an injury to the left side of her shell due to a heat lamp melting plastic on her. Apparently this happened many years ago. Is there anything I can use to treat this area to keep it healthy? I am noticing that red ants are attracted to it and I am concerned. Other than that, she seems happy and good appetite. Concerned Lisa

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  • Jeremy Roche - 2012-09-10
    Is the shell actually cracked?  I have seen sealants for shells if it is.  Give your local vet a call.
  • Renee Olive-Foster - 2014-01-28
    Hi wow sounds like a great new pet!! I heard Vets do seal the area with some type of surgical Glue, best to get it done asap to keep it from getting infected.. bless her heart! Best of luck..
  • Sandra Hildreth - 2014-02-16
    I also have a baby sucata. My dog found her when she was only 2 months old and the size of a 50 cent piece. She had a small cracked in her shell. I healed it with newsprint with pain men's and vita shell with calcium. It healed up great.
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Animal-World info on Red-footed Tortoise
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cathy - 2013-12-20
Have had a red foot tortoise for 2 years. During warm weather she is in an outside pen & always looking for bugs or worms. 'Ruby' will not eat veggies or fruits in what I feel is proper amounts & when I bring her in the house she heads straight for the dog food bowl. I have been using green veggie baby food w/ a piece of dog food in it and once started she scoops most all the baby food looking for more buried dog food. How long can I let her go without feeding? She has gone a couple of days refusing a proper diet, holding out for the dog food/baby food soup.

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  • Clarice Brough - 2013-12-26
    These tortoises are omnivores, so will eat both veggies and protein. There may be something in the dog food she is craving. They usually need food every couple of days. See the care and feeding section above for a more complete description.
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Animal-World info on Russian Tortoise
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Hannah Thompson - 2011-01-05
Hi, I've just got a russian horsfieldi tortoise from my boyfriend for xmas!
I've named him Turk and I adore him!
I have just ordered a vivarium with lamp uv lite heater habistat thing to put him in.
I'm new to tortoises and doing as much research as I can.
Does anyone have any tips on heating, feeding handling in general?
He hasn't pooped for a couple of days either! :( ??
As many replies would be very grateful.

Thank you
Turks Mummy :) x

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  • chuck - 2011-01-07
    ....as for heating your new purchase is fine. Iceberg lettuce offers no nutrition, other types such as Boston, Escarole , Romaine are fine. Avoid kales as it will constipate them . My guys (have two) also enjoy a banana and tomatoes from time to time. Place your tortoise in a small tub 1/2 inch to 1 inch of water above room temp. The warm water will entice him to poop as well as a drink. Naturally as soon he poops take him out.
    Had my guys for 7 years in a large plastic container and do very well. My opinion it's easy to clean and worry free of cracking glass.
    GOOD LUCK
  • Billy - 2011-02-04
    I've had my Russian tort a couple of months now and she is great. I was concerned about her not pooping for a while and found letting her soak in half an inch of water for ten minutes or so twice a week helped as they enjoy the water and tend to go when in it! She won't poop in her table though, she prefers the living room carpet. :)
  • Midge - 2011-05-03
    I have only just found this site and read your message. If you are still keeping your Russian in a vivarium you are actually being cruel to your beloved pet - sorry. It needs a table top, 50/50 sand/soil substrate, uvb and heat lamp. Please read the info on the Tortoise Trust site.
    Kind regards
  • Debbie - 2011-07-13
    I was told not to put a mat in ,because they need a place to cool off, so maybe you want to go with the lights..because the mat keeps it warm everywhere. I find that if I put the red light on he sleeps and with the uv light on, he is up and going,when I am but takes a nap often.
  • susan - 2013-03-23
    Soak him in baby temperature type water twice a week for about 20 minutes. Deepness of water just at his tail, this will relieve his bowels.These tortoises can handle 40 degree temperatures at night. I suggest turning heat off at night. They should have a temperature drop just like in their natural habitat.
  • Kenny - 2013-12-10
    I had my RT, Duckster for 20 years! he never had a cage he sleeps in a cat bed! He is so friendly that he runs at my feet when I get home! he is my best friend. I take him everywhere with me!
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Animal-World info on Red-footed Tortoise
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Emily - 2013-10-11
I bought a red-footed tortoise about 2 years ago so far 'it' seemed to be doing great until just recently...'it's' eyes are cloudy and his neck seems to be swollen I'm not sure what to do please help.

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Animal-World info on Sulcata Tortoise
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brittany - 2010-12-21
My name is Brittany and I live in portland oregon and I have one but I can no longer keep it and I was wondering if anyone knew any websites I could try to sell it on or if a pet shop would buy it?

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  • Dennis - 2011-09-04
    Hello, how much do you want for it?
  • David Kinney - 2013-07-24
    How old is your Sulcata Tortoise? How much are you asking for? I live in Gresham OR.. I may be interested if the price is right. I just bought a hatchling from Turtleshack for $100.00.
  • Debbie Foyle - 2013-09-26
    Brittany, Were you able to sell your Sulcata Tortoise? If not how old is it and what sex is it ? I have a large male and am considering a companion for him.
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Animal-World info on Red-footed Tortoise
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Joel - 2013-02-27
I have had my red foot zissou for about a month now. Firstly, he really has only taken to bananas. I'm assuming this was what he was given a majority of the time at the pet store. Is there a good way to transition him? Doesn't seem like he eats at all if there are no bananas. Secondly, he never poops in his water dish. He poops on the ground, and today i caught him eating it. I've read that this can be normal. . . . Is it?

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  • Jasmine Brough Hinesley - 2013-02-27
    I would suggest continuing to offer him a wide variety of foods, with few bananas. I would hope that over time he would warm up to other types of foods as well. I would also keep an eye on his stools - if they are excessively runny then he is probably not getting the proper nutrients. It is normal for tortoises to eat their stool sometimes too. Yours may be getting additional nutrients from it.
  • Anonymous - 2013-07-05
    No. Too many bananas are VERY unhealthy for your tortoise. The best diet for a baby redfoot tortoise would be romaine lettuce, kale, and escarole as well as collard greens in the Leafy greens section. For vegetables, I suggest very well grated or sliced thin carrots. Use baby carrots for grating and slicing thin. Mushroom is always another option. For fruits, this is supposed to be a very half percentage of their diet so feed strawberry slices, mango cubes, watermelon slices of red stuff, and feed a banana slice once or twice a month during a leafy greens and fruit feeding time. Feed your tortoise TWICE a day, using the food schedule I found for you. SUNDAY Leafy greens MONDAY Leafy greens with fruit TUESDAY Leafy greens WEDNESDAY Leafy greens with vegetable THURSDAY Leafy greens with fruit FRIDAY Leafy greens with meat SATURDAY Half amount of leafy greens as usual I hope this helps very much for I have a red foot tortoise as well and she is as healthy as possible. I have a tip for you though. That 10 gallon tank won’t be helpful for long for red foot tortoises can grow to 20 inches (50 centimeters) and the minimum for a red foot tortoise for the enclosure size is 40 gallons. Make sure that you have soil that is not moldy and make sure your tank is low in height and very wide. Go to Big Al’s, (in Canada) in Scarborough if possible. They have tanks for 99.99 dollars that are PERFECT. DO NOT GET ANY TURTLE KITS FOR YOUR TORTOISE. And make sure you have a soaking area to cool off if your red foot gets a little tired of the humidity. Make sure the red foot never stays underneath the heat spot lamp for longer than 15-20 minutes. This can kill your red foot. If your red foot is not defensive when you pick it up, then something is wrong. Check for scarps of broken legs. If you found anything or nothing go to your veterinarian for a observation.
  • bettycole - 2013-09-13
    I have a redfoot. Got him because I felt sorry for him $60.00. He always poops when I pick him up to be in the house. He does not bite I feel bad he is afaid of me. I feed him all the above except bananas. Caught him eating dog poop today, already had 5 flowers 2 lettuce, romaine leaf a small piece of dog food. Called vet said ok as long as not his only thing he's eating and he eats other things first.
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Animal-World info on Sulcata Tortoise
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David Kinney - 2013-07-24
I have one baby hatchling Sulcata Tortoise. I would like to raise 2 males or 1 male and one female. Can Sulcatas coexist for life? I understand that males can become aggressive. I would like to know the truth about raising adult sulcatas from birth, can they coexist or at times do we just separate them in to their own pens? Thank you for your advice.

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  • Clarice Brough - 2013-07-26
    Sulcata Tortoises are great pets, but they are known to be aggressive as youths, both males and females. As adults females no longer display aggression but males become more so towards other males, often butting each other in an attempt to flip the other over, which can be fatal for them in their natural environment.
  • Clarice Brough - 2013-07-26
    Sulcata Tortoises are great pets, but they are known to be aggressive as youths, both males and females. As adults females no longer display aggression but males become more so towards other males, often butting each other in an attempt to flip the other over, which can be fatal for them in their natural environment.
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Anonymous - 2010-07-12
I have a red foot tortoise as well her name is yurtle the turtle it was yortoise the tortoise but we found out she is a female she is great the best part is I have a big dog about 80 pounds and they are like best friends I've had her about 5 years now.

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  • Tony - 2010-09-01
    You should never let your dog near a tortoise (or any reptile in general). Regardless of what happened in the past, your dog's instincts will eventually tell it that your tortoise is a walking bone worth investigating. People often say: "Well, I've had my tortoise and dog for many years and they never attack each other," and they continue to allow the two animals to come intact with each other. This happens all too often. Unfortunately, the end result will often be a severely injured tortoise (or in some cases, a dead tortoise) in need of immediate medical attention. Don't mix your animals.
  • Anonymous - 2013-07-08
    I have 4 dogs, and they are fine with our tortoise! They have all lived together for 15 years. The turtle even shares the water.  I have never had an incident.
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