Animal Stories - Tortoises


Animal-World info on Russian Tortoise
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teresa - 2011-04-10
TORTOISES require outdoor habitat. Never an aquarium. I have rescued four Russian Tortoises who were raised in aquariums. Their shells are flat on top, and one has ripples in the back of her shell that will never be round enough to protect her from males or predators. A huge tortoise table is the only indoor solution that gives a tortoise room to move. But a tortoise is an outdoor, roaming creature that benefits from having other tortoises to associate with. Please do not buy your child a tortoise in an aquarium. Build an outdoor habitat that has vegetation and a doghouse-like home filled with straw where they can escape from heat or cold. There are excellent examples if you search "outdoor-tortoise-habitat".

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Animal-World info on Greek Tortoise
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matthew - 2011-03-28
I have a greek tortoise and was wondering how to differentiate between male and female. My parents have one of each but as they are young then it's hard to tell. Also at what age roughly can you start to breed these tortoises?

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  • Editor's Note - 2011-03-28
    The length of the Greek Tortoise's (Testudo graeca) tail and plastron (the soft underside of the shell) is the best way to differentiate between males and females. Males have longer plastrons than females and their plastrons are often slightly concave. Males also often carry their tails tucked up in their shell while females will keep their tales sticking outward. It is hard to tell the sex of the tortoises before they are old enough/large enough to breed however, so depending on how large they are you may not be able to tell.

    Males usually reach sexual maturity at about 8 years, while females are slower and generally aren't ready until about age 11. Males can generally breed once their plastron is 5-6 inches in length and females need to be 6-7 inches before attempting to breed them.
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Animal-World info on Red-footed Tortoise
Animal Story on Red-footed Tortoise
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Dawn Ballard - 2011-03-24
I am a new Kindergarten teacher. My husband bought our class a Red-footed Tortoise, I am going to let the children vote for a name but I hope they vote for Oogway. (that is the name of the tortoise master on "Kung Fu Panda") There are a few black spots and a few scratching spots on the bottom of his shell. Is this normal?

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  • Clarice Brough - 2011-03-25
    That's so cool that you got a Red-footed tortoise for you class, I bet they will have a great experience! I don't think the spots and scratches should be a problem, as long as it is eating and acting normally it's probably okay.
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Animal-World info on Leopard Tortoise
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julie - 2010-09-23
I have recently been given a leopard tort, I already have a sully and have had no probs..my question is the leopard hisses and goes in its shell also i have seen it with a wet nose, not all the time but a couple and have had it a week now, is it ok and is the hissing normal, it was kept in the wrong conditions before and was with a dog that annoyed it? Much appreciated for any replies..julie

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  • Anonymous - 2011-03-24
    Yes that is a sign of RI (respiratory infection). Go to your local pet store and purchase a 100 or 150w bulb. Put the light fixture 12 inches away no farther no closer. That should make the basking spot 92F to 100F, next get a high quality UVB bulb and use it to help with the tortoise.
    I like the Exo Terra Repti-Glo 10.0 Desert UVB Bulb
    Zoo med Repti-Sun 10.0 are good maybe better just have never used one :)

    Use 8.5 inch domes for both the bulbs. At night change the Basking bulb for a infrared bulb 50w they are $3 dollars at PetSmart! They are called; Zoo med nocturnal infrared bulb 50w.

    Make sure you only use calcium with d3 once a week to avoid a issue called pyramiding.

    Also make sure your Reptile Light Fixtures have Ceramic tops or the better (20% to 40% better) Porcelain topped lamps.

    For feeding I recommend dandelion, kale, lettuce (occasionally due to it being very wet) and as a staple I like Cactus pads and once a week Zoo med Grassland Tortoise Diet.

    You can find all of this stuff at tortoisesupply.com and amazon.com
    Tortoise supply even has the cactus pads! Although I DON'T recommend every buying a tortoise from there! They are overpriced! I prefer Robert/Trish from Kingsnake.com
    They are A++ Turtle and Tortoise breeders. I bought my leopard from them.

    Also I recommend 50% sterile play sand/Zoo med Repti-Sand (They are the same thing) and
    50% cypress mulch/coconut coir.

    Hope that helps feel free to email me if you have more questions! Email Vampire5003.tk@gmail.com

    Thanks, Thomas
    Turtle and Tortoise Future Breeder and long term parent! :)
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Animal-World info on Red-footed Tortoise
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Allie - 2010-10-15
We just got a baby red footed tortoise. She's approx. 6 months old. My son is thrilled and we look forward to having him as part of the family for years to come. My husband is a little freaked out. He wants to know if these pets carry any "diseases" we have to worry about, or if having the tank in my son's bedroom is unhealthy in any way. He's killing the fun! (but I want to make sure I haven't overlooked anything).....Any advice?

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  • John - 2011-03-17
    Just make sure that his area is cleaned once a week. If mine gets into stuff he shouldn't, I immediately bathe him. When I first got mine, I used gloves because of the possiblility of salmonella. I had no idea how it was being taken care of, but now that I know that he is clean and I keep his water fresh daily and that his area is cleaned weekly, I handle him more. I just make sure to wash my hands right afterwards. Salmonella is your only worry, so make sure that everyone washes their hands always after handling, you can never be too careful.
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Brian - 2010-10-16
Well hi I just got my red-footed tortoise yesterday from petsmart and today his a.k.a Little-Foot eye's are running not that much like a teardrop and he has diarrhea since when I got him.

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  • sp - 2010-11-14
    What petsmart did you get yourz from?
  • Oscar R. - 2011-01-20
    I have one and his eye is a little drippy too but not diarrhea just to be on the safe side you should get him checked out but drippy eyes I think is natural but awkward.
  • John - 2011-03-16
    Don't worry he should be ok after a couple of days, roughly 3 days. When I first got mine he did the same thing. I called the pet store and talked to the vet. I believe it's the diet that they have them on. I gave my red foot greens until well and then I gave him some fruits, and a little protein (boiled egg) not the whole egg. If he is not better after a couple of days call the pet store. I hope that helps.
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tracey - 2011-03-09
My tortoise's nails are bent the wrong way. I'm wondering if they're growing like that or he's doing something to make them bend. Is that normal?

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Animal-World info on Greek Tortoise
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Dizzy - 2010-08-26
Hi. I Have Two Greek spur thighed Tortoises very large and had a baby last year and this year has laid 24 eggs , and so far have had two babies hatch out, so if you count the one baby from last year and two so far this year, I now have 5 tortoises and could have another 21 if they hatch, will have to start a tortoise farm. lol

Dizzy

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  • darlene - 2011-03-09
    Do you have any Greek tortoises for sale? You can email me back or call 541-914-1428
    Thank you,
    Darlene
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Animal-World info on Red-footed Tortoise
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ALLiSON Kroll - 2011-02-21

I got a Red Footed Tortoise his name is shelldone. I love him so much. I taught him how to wave. I am 8 years old. I try to take him out of his cage to give him exercise and attention every day. Sometimes I get busy but I know he's always there.

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Sofie - 2010-09-16
I have a red foot tortoise, his name is Franklin. I just brought him home. My dad helped me set up his tank. So far he is shy. We love him and I hope he loves us.

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  • lisa - 2011-02-12
    He just needs to adjust to the environment. Be sure to have the correct temp & humidity. Also, he may not eat right away till he is comfortable. Don't worry, be patient because he is full of
    love & totally worth the wait!
    I have a red foot named morton that I got at a reptile show 6yrs. ago & he is by far the best pet I have ever had! Red foots are the most intelligent of their species & can be trained. They are very curious & have amazing personalities! P.S..they love their heads rubbed hard & will push against you.
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