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Agressive 10-month old Hermanns

Discussion in 'Hermanns tortoises' started by leamdk, Jun 11, 2019.

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  1. leamdk

    leamdk New Member

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    Hi,

    I have two 10-month old Hermans tortoises (Rille and Rumle), and I’ve recently noticed that Rumle has gotten kind of aggressive towards Rille. It actually almost looks like, Rumle is trying to mate white Rille – Climbs up on Rilles bag, with an open mouth, and tries to “hold on” to Rille. At times Rumle chases Rille around in their enclosure, for quite some time. Afterwards (the last week actually) Rille seems restless/agitated, wandering areound the edges of the enclosure, on and on...
    Today I saw, for the first time, that Rumle also bites Rilles legs. Rumle has never bitten me, and doesn’t try to, when I put my hands down there.

    Their enclosure is the right size, they are fed twice a day, they are (at least I think) not overfed/overgrown, both measuring 6.5 cm weighing 55/60 g (Rumle is the heavier). They cannot be maturing already, right?

    Have any of you had the same problem? Or do you have any advice on what to do?
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2019
  2. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    (These ads do not appear for registered members.)
    This is totally normal tortoise behavior and should never be allowed to happen. You need to separate them immediately. Tortoises should never live in pairs and this is why. Other tortoises are not seen as friends or companions, they are seen as territorial intruders to be fought and driven away, or as rivals to run away from. The stress your tortoises have been under for the last few months has been terrible.

    Each of them needs their own enclosure ASAP. Please do this right now, today, before irreparable damage is done: https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/bad-day-for-baby.114328/
  3. leamdk

    leamdk New Member

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    Oh no! Then I really wonder why everyone always recommends having two tortoises together, since they are social animals???? This was the reason why I bought two in the first place. "Luckily" Rumles bullying has just startet quite recently, so hopefully Rille will be fine, once they are separated... I can probably divide their enclosure for now, and then figure something out from there.
    Thank you for your answer!
  4. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    Everyone here at this site recommends against pairs. Tortoises are not social animals at all. In some circumstances they can be kept together in groups, but never pairs.
  5. leamdk

    leamdk New Member

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    Unfortunately I've just red this now ;( It sucks, especially cause I really thought a lot about having 1 or 2. I've actually talked to a 3 different breeders here in DK, who stated that they would under no circumstances sell just 1 tortoise. ONLY i pairs, since "tortoises are social creatures". Well, so much for their "expert knowledge" ...
  6. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    That is as fascinating as it is shocking. They do best all alone as the sole king or queen of their very own territory. We sometimes keep babies in groups for practical reasons, and adults in the right groups for breeding, but all of them do best all alone. I can't imagine why anyone would say such a thing, unless they were just trying to sell more tortoises. They don't run in packs in the wild. Hermanni are sometimes found with several individuals within a given territory, but they don't hang out, and there is a definite hierarchy, and plenty of room for submissives to escape the unwanted attention of the more dominant individuals.

    You can see first hand in your own enclosure that what I'm saying here is true. There is a lot of bad tortoise info out there in the world unfortunately.
  7. Blackdog1714

    Blackdog1714 Well-Known Member

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    Misrepresentation is rampant in almost all types of animal/pet sales since what you are buying can't tell you any different. Welcome to TFO
  8. leamdk

    leamdk New Member

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    Quite scarry then, that the page that everyone in DK refers to, is recomending to always keep at least 2...
    I guess that now I know better.. Just put on my handywoman-suit, and created a "enclosure-separator" ;)
    Thank you for your advise - hopefully Rille will be much more calm tomorrow...
  9. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    I was just thinking about what we've been discussing here, and we have the same sort of thing over here. You can read any sulcata book, talk to most breeders or vets, or look at websites and get the same wrong info on baby sulcata care. Desert tortoise care info is even worse. Following the commonly given care advice results in the vast majority of babies that hatch annually dying. So sad. So easy to prevent.

    We've been trying to get this info out. Its a good day when someone like you comes a long and we make a difference in the lives of a couple of tortoises. Thank you.
  10. leamdk

    leamdk New Member

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    Its so, so sad! I mean, whats the point? Besides the obvious fact, that selling 2 makes more profit than selling just one - but the result will be, as you point out, that they die due to stress, fighting or simply because their owners have them put to sleep (or worse; simply release them into the wild).
    It's horrible! I feel quite lucky, getting your advise, before it went horrible wrong, between Rille and Rumle - thank you!
    Now I just need to figure out what to do from here, cause I haven't got room for two cages, and dividing the one they have now, leaves them with way to little room each...
  11. dmmj

    dmmj The member formerly known as captain awesome Moderator

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    You answered your own question, they get to sell 2. And when one of them dies the owner blames themself.

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