Adopt?

SarahB

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Joined
Dec 3, 2018
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17
Location (City and/or State)
Holland mi
I have my first Russian tort. I rescued from a bad situation. When I realized I wasn’t nesceassrily qualified either ( although much better) I decided I was going to rehome to someone who could provide indoor/ out door enclossures. I thought their would be several eager hands raised to adopt him. Nothing.

I’m in Michigan and honestly don’t feel like Every time I hear scratching I feel horrible that he doesn’t have enough room. He was in a 36” aquarium. I have him In Two zoo med enclosures. 3’x6’. I don’t mind keeping for a while but I live in a condo. His enclosure could be wheeled out on the deck but that’s it.

“Tuck” looks at me with those soulful eyes and my heart hurts. I want him to be able to walk around but everything I read says no.

I read about so called “rescues” that honestly look like more turmoil for him as he’d simply be shuffled until something comes up that could potentially be worse!!!!

thoughts???
 

ZenHerper

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Feb 27, 2020
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Location (City and/or State)
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One of the reason torts climb and dig is to get back to what they think of as Home...you've enlarged his space, but he may still want to go back Home, especially with winter coming on. Just keep doing your best to make sure the environmental parameters are correct and offer a good, balanced diet.

We get bunches of offered animals...perhaps your post fell down the thread list too quickly the day you posted (males can be a bit harder to place than females owing to their territorial needs and habits).

Let's see if some folks have advice...

@Carol S @jsheffield @DoubleD1996!

Thanks for rescuing!!!
 

SarahB

New Member
Joined
Dec 3, 2018
Messages
17
Location (City and/or State)
Holland mi
One of the reason torts climb and dig is to get back to what they think of as Home...you've enlarged his space, but he may still want to go back Home, especially with winter coming on. Just keep doing your best to make sure the environmental parameters are correct and offer a good, balanced diet.

We get bunches of offered animals...perhaps your post fell down the thread list too quickly the day you posted (males can be a bit harder to place than females owing to their territorial needs and habits).

Let's see if some folks have advice...

@Carol S @jsheffield @DoubleD1996!

Thanks for rescuing!!!
Thank you. If I’m understanding, he’s missing his small tank?
 

ZenHerper

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Thank you. If I’m understanding, he’s missing his small tank?
I'm sure that's a large part of it. Until things are Familiar to the brain, they are potentially Dangerous to the brain, you know? Like if someone packed up all your stuff and moved you to another city in another state. Even if the house is bigger and better than where you live now, you'd miss Home and want to get back there if at all possible.

Give that some time.

The fall season is also a complex time for reptiles: they need to find a place to wait out the cooler and drier temperatures...these instincts still function in reptiles that live in climate-controlled conditions indoors. He may suddenly slow down, eat less, eat nothing, sleep all day. If that happens, keep the habitat lights and humidity steady, and give a warm water soak every few days to keep him hydrated and so that you can give him a good looking over.
 

ZenHerper

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I'm sure you've found it, but this is the most up-to-date care info for the habitat set up:

 

DoubleD1996!

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Joined
Feb 27, 2021
Messages
708
Location (City and/or State)
Memphis
I have my first Russian tort. I rescued from a bad situation. When I realized I wasn’t nesceassrily qualified either ( although much better) I decided I was going to rehome to someone who could provide indoor/ out door enclossures. I thought their would be several eager hands raised to adopt him. Nothing.

I’m in Michigan and honestly don’t feel like Every time I hear scratching I feel horrible that he doesn’t have enough room. He was in a 36” aquarium. I have him In Two zoo med enclosures. 3’x6’. I don’t mind keeping for a while but I live in a condo. His enclosure could be wheeled out on the deck but that’s it.

“Tuck” looks at me with those soulful eyes and my heart hurts. I want him to be able to walk around but everything I read says no.

I read about so called “rescues” that honestly look like more turmoil for him as he’d simply be shuffled until something comes up that could potentially be worse!!!!

thoughts???
I would take him in, but I think you can do this. Just hang in there. It's not uncommon for a turtle or tortoise to react that way when moved to a different environment. It's like your parents transferring you to a new school in the middle of the semester. In the wild, Russians have their own range, which is why they seem so aggressive and territorial to others. Because they learn the lay of the land and are familiar with that space. If you feel it is too small, you can't go wrong with large totes you can get at target. They work well and hold humidity. You can hang it's light fixtures and uvb above it and they come in massive sizes. Fill it with eco earth, cypress mulch and lots of hides for comfort. I like to burry things like rocks under the substrate to provide terrain for them to climb over, but not too high so they don't fall over, you just want them to work those back legs. You can also get creative and make little caves. And a shallow water dish. Don't worry. Sounds to me he's good; especially if he's active. Just give him proper nutrition, soaks, and proper lighting and you'll be glad you didn't rehome him.
 

SarahB

New Member
Joined
Dec 3, 2018
Messages
17
Location (City and/or State)
Holland mi
I would take him in, but I think you can do this. Just hang in there. It's not uncommon for a turtle or tortoise to react that way when moved to a different environment. It's like your parents transferring you to a new school in the middle of the semester. In the wild, Russians have their own range, which is why they seem so aggressive and territorial to others. Because they learn the lay of the land and are familiar with that space. If you feel it is too small, you can't go wrong with large totes you can get at target. They work well and hold humidity. You can hang it's light fixtures and uvb above it and they come in massive sizes. Fill it with eco earth, cypress mulch and lots of hides for comfort. I like to burry things like rocks under the substrate to provide terrain for them to climb over, but not too high so they don't fall over, you just want them to work those back legs. You can also get creative and make little caves. And a shallow water dish. Don't worry. Sounds to me he's good; especially if he's active. Just give him proper nutrition, soaks, and proper lighting and you'll be glad you didn't rehome him.
 

Jan A

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Joined
Jan 9, 2021
Messages
1,703
Location (City and/or State)
Boulder, CO
I have my first Russian tort. I rescued from a bad situation. When I realized I wasn’t nesceassrily qualified either ( although much better) I decided I was going to rehome to someone who could provide indoor/ out door enclossures. I thought their would be several eager hands raised to adopt him. Nothing.

I’m in Michigan and honestly don’t feel like Every time I hear scratching I feel horrible that he doesn’t have enough room. He was in a 36” aquarium. I have him In Two zoo med enclosures. 3’x6’. I don’t mind keeping for a while but I live in a condo. His enclosure could be wheeled out on the deck but that’s it.

“Tuck” looks at me with those soulful eyes and my heart hurts. I want him to be able to walk around but everything I read says no.

I read about so called “rescues” that honestly look like more turmoil for him as he’d simply be shuffled until something comes up that could potentially be worse!!!!

thoughts???
Welcome to the forum. There is a LOT to grasp here, so don't panic. Houdini, a red foot, is my first tort (& reptile) so if you don't have any experience it does seem overwhelming. Take it slow. Ask lots of questions. There are wonderful people here on the forum with lots of experience. You can do this!!
 

SarahB

New Member
Joined
Dec 3, 2018
Messages
17
Location (City and/or State)
Holland mi
Welcome to the forum. There is a LOT to grasp here, so don't panic. Houdini, a red foot, is my first tort (& reptile) so if you don't have any experience it does seem overwhelming. Take it slow. Ask lots of questions. There are wonderful people here on the forum with lots of experience. You can do this!!
I appreciate all the input. Thank you!

Another question, Do your tortoises interact in anyway with you? Is there an attachment you begin to feel with your tortoise? Is it mutual?

Part of my anxiety (I think) has to do with this. The complex care with a creature that will never connect and always want to be free or at least in an enclosure bigger than what I’m providing.
 

DoubleD1996!

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Joined
Feb 27, 2021
Messages
708
Location (City and/or State)
Memphis
I appreciate all the input. Thank you!

Another question, Do your tortoises interact in anyway with you? Is there an attachment you begin to feel with your tortoise? Is it mutual?

Part of my anxiety (I think) has to do with this. The complex care with a creature that will never connect and always want to be free or at least in an enclosure bigger than what I’m providing.
Tortoises certainly build an attachment. Not as complex as say a dog or parrot, but they learn to recognize you; your voice, the things you bring them food in. So they'll walk up to you and follow you around. My tortoises will even ignore other people and come up to me. I think reptiles feel emotions, just not the way we do. It's hard to explain. Say if you did rehome your tort, it would be shy with the new owner and environment, but once it learns and recognizes them, it'd treat them how it treated you.
 

maggie3fan

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Jun 30, 2018
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PacificNorthWest
Tortoises certainly build an attachment. Not as complex as say a dog or parrot, but they learn to recognize you; your voice, the things you bring them food in. So they'll walk up to you and follow you around. My tortoises will even ignore other people and come up to me. I think reptiles feel emotions, just not the way we do. It's hard to explain. Say if you did rehome your tort, it would be shy with the new owner and environment, but once it learns and recognizes them, it'd treat them how it treated you.
That is very true. I know my tortoises recognize me even when I have strangers with me. But it's not because they love me...it's because I am the Food Goddess to them...
I had a very strong bond with a Sulcata named Bob. If you do a search you can read my "Bob" stories.
But I believe that bond with a reptile is very different than the one you might have with your dog. I also believe you don't bond with all your pets...to me the bond we are talking about is special, not an everyday ordinary kind of thing. As an example...I have 18 parakeets, 13 box turtles, 5 tortoises and 2 cats...
here in order of importance and my "bond" with them are...
Smokey...
 

SarahB

New Member
Joined
Dec 3, 2018
Messages
17
Location (City and/or State)
Holland mi
That is very true. I know my tortoises recognize me even when I have strangers with me. But it's not because they love me...it's because I am the Food Goddess to them...
I had a very strong bond with a Sulcata named Bob. If you do a search you can read my "Bob" stories.
But I believe that bond with a reptile is very different than the one you might have with your dog. I also believe you don't bond with all your pets...to me the bond we are talking about is special, not an everyday ordinary kind of thing. As an example...I have 18 parakeets, 13 box turtles, 5 tortoises and 2 cats...
here in order of importance and my "bond" with them are...
Smokey...
Did you try sending a picture? Shoot! Love to here/see the order ?
 

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