Baby Leopard in Northern Utah, a few questions!

TyoteeT

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Apr 2, 2021
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10
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Logan, Utah
Hello!

I made a post here a few weeks back about a Russian/Herrmans/Greek enclosure but between now and then I found the Leopard Tortoise and absolutely fell in love with its colors, personality, and above all it's size! Everything about it seems to be amazing, but before I move forward I do have a few small questions specifically about raising one of these in an environment where it gets cold for many months of the year.

As a preface, I have read this post front to back (https://www.tortoiseforum.org/threa...se-a-sulcata-leopard-or-star-tortoise.181503/) and am so grateful for all the other posts about Leopard Tortoises on this forum. It's even helped me to find the perfect enclosure while it's still a baby, a clear greenhouse enclosure on Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CBB7FYU/?tag=exoticpetnetw-20) , and I have a lot of other supplies lined up that have been recommended by Leopard keepers. I currently live in an apartment, but that housing should be changing within 2 or so years so I will have ample space for the Leopard. (I will also be purchasing from Tortoise Supply once the enclosure is fully setup, please let me know if they are reputable).

However, being from Northen Utah means that our winters are brisk and long. I understand how to feed them, but does anyone else have a leopard or sulcata or whatnot in Northern Utah? If so, when they grow to a larger size and need an outdoor enclosure how would I need to prepare one that lasts throughout the winter? I like to think I'm pretty resourceful, so I'll do whatever required to provide a good enclosure.

Also humidity, is it enough to plant some plants in the tank and spray it down once or twice a day to maintain the humidity, or is there a better way to ensure ~80% humidity in the enclosure?

Finally, what are some personality things I should be aware of when raising a Leopard Tortoise? This will be my first tortoise, and I want to make sure I am raising it correctly. I usually go to work from 9-3, do tortoises do well with long periods of no one being home? On the flip side, can I occasionally reach in and pet the tortoise, or softly scratch it's shell with a brush? Sorry for the barrage of questions, I just want my tortoise to live a long and happy life.

Thank you for taking the time to read this! After months of planning and research I finally feel ready to dive in, and I am unbelievably excited. :D
 

wellington

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I have leopards here in Chicago Illinois. Not sure if our winters are the same as yours, but we do have cold and snow and about 3 or 4 months that my tortoises have to stay inside.
I have a heated insulated shed mine stay in for winter. It has doors to the outside for when they can go out and they can get back in on their own. I use the portable radiator type heaters on a thermostat. I run a ceiling fan all winter on low to keep the heat down to tort height. The shed is really a 3rd stall of my garage that we had separated by a wall. I have them up in tables as it's easier to keep the temp warm mid way then all the way to the floor. Its not really hard and they actually seem to like the indoors as much as the outdoors.
As babies though you do want to keep them in a closed chamber and not use a nursery vapor bulb. There are threads by member Tom on those.
Tortoise supply is reputable however I'm not sure if he raises his own leopards nor do I know if he does the closed chamber.
 

TyoteeT

New Member
Joined
Apr 2, 2021
Messages
10
Location (City and/or State)
Logan, Utah
I have leopards here in Chicago Illinois. Not sure if our winters are the same as yours, but we do have cold and snow and about 3 or 4 months that my tortoises have to stay inside.
I have a heated insulated shed mine stay in for winter. It has doors to the outside for when they can go out and they can get back in on their own. I use the portable radiator type heaters on a thermostat. I run a ceiling fan all winter on low to keep the heat down to tort height. The shed is really a 3rd stall of my garage that we had separated by a wall. I have them up in tables as it's easier to keep the temp warm mid way then all the way to the floor. Its not really hard and they actually seem to like the indoors as much as the outdoors.
As babies though you do want to keep them in a closed chamber and not use a nursery vapor bulb. There are threads by member Tom on those.
Tortoise supply is reputable however I'm not sure if he raises his own leopards nor do I know if he does the closed chamber.
Perfect, yeah I used to live up in Northern Indiana, around Granger, so I understand a bit the winters y'all get up there. That is a relief to know that indoors can work as well, I live in the mountains so our March can be beautiful and warm with snow in April, it's the nature of our elevation.

I have a closed environment that I'm setting up at the moment, I'm actually shocked at how easy it is to make a baby tortoise habitat, I was budgeting around $200 just for the enclosure, and with people nearby selling second hand heat lamps (I'll get new bulbs), local substrate, etc... It's shocking.

How do you maintain a humid environment? Just by spritzing the substrate once or twice a day, or is there something I'm missing?

Thank you for responding!! :D
 

wellington

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Soak the substrate. Pouring warm water into the enclosure. A watering can used for flowers, the kind with a bunch of holes on the pourer works really well. Gets the top of substrate wet and with enough, will soak down into the lower layers.
 
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