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An Introduction

Snow Leopard

New Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2014
Messages
14
Location (City and/or State)
British Columbia
Hi there,
I just wanted to say hello and introduce my tortoises. We live in Canada (hence the name) and have two Leopards. Binky is female, Happy is a boy, and they are both 10 years old and have very different personalities. They have a heated room in my garage where they spend the winter (separate pens much to Happy's disappointment). During the summer they each have a "pasture" that is about 1/2 acre. In the spring and fall they get carried back and forth depending on the temperature. I will try to post some pictures I just wanted to say hi!
 

Jodie

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2014
Messages
4,357
Location (City and/or State)
Spokane Valley WA
Welcome to the forum from Spokane Washington. It's a challenge keeping leopards in the north. Glad you are here.
 

Snow Leopard

New Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2014
Messages
14
Location (City and/or State)
British Columbia
Here is one of Binky from 2014, I hope it's not too big.
They are quite pyramided but otherwise seem healthy. When they were small the debate was still pretty heated about whether it was humidity or food causing the bumpy shell. Unfortunately I was doing wrong for too long and now their shape is pretty much set. I am still learning and doing the best I can to provide for them.
Later this week I will post more pictures of them and their enclosures.

IMG_4679.JPG
 
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Yvonne G

Old Timer
TFO Admin
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Messages
82,880
Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
Wow! that's a big leopard (and a mighty cute baby!!).

Welcome to the Forum!
 

Snow Leopard

New Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2014
Messages
14
Location (City and/or State)
British Columbia
Hello, again
Here are a few pictures of my enclosure. It is not perfect, I would love have more space for them. However it is easy to clean, they seem to enjoy the natural light and the air quality is excellent.
And here is the rambling description. I built an insulated room in our garage, then built a raised platform. I used laundry tubs with the front cut out as water dishes. I couldn't find water dishes large enough and got tired of carrying sloshing dishes of poopy water around. There are also shower bases so if they get too large for the laundry tubs then these will become the water dishes. The sinks and showers drain into 5 gallon pails that I can carry outside to dump. I covered the entire platform with commercial linoleum and sealed the seams. Unfortunately it was like putting Bambi on ice and far too slippery for the torts. I then got self sticking traction strips and put those down,but they are VERY abrasive and I worried that their shells would be damaged. I tried putting down rubber mats but any urine that got underneath would start to stink within hours. So in desperation I put down sheets (Melissa Kaplan talk about using fabric as substrate on her website), oddly enough the Torts really seem content. The sheets absorb the urine without drying the air and give reasonable traction (I don't think it would work without the traction strips). When they were younger I used sand/soil as a substrate, but as they got older it became more and more difficult maintain a reasonable level of hygiene. As soon as it became dirty or started to smell they would begin pacing, wall climbing and just seemed very stressed.
They each have a solar UVB/heat lamp and there is a heater underneath the platform that keeps the platform surface warm.
There is a removable divider between them if for some reason I only have one tortoise :( the other can have the whole space, it also makes it easier to clean.
The two things I think I would have done differently. Is to use outdoor decking (for traction) instead of linoleum, you can get some nice thick rubbery stuff now. I would have also tried to build a "barrier free" sloped entrance into the water dishes.
The outdoor space gives them each about 1/2 acre, there is a shed that I put them at night. There is always a mix of sun and shade, the top part gets quite dry but the bottom has a natural spring so there are some little (2' across 4" deep) pools they can sit in if they want. I also have a small pen near the house that is in a very hot sunny location. I use this in the spring and fall to put them out for an hour or two just to get a bit of sun.
Whew, my typing finger is tired, I hope that all made sense.
 

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