Can Sulcata Get Stuck in Burrow?

OliveW

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2022
Messages
286
Location (City and/or State)
Branford, FL
I've searched this question and only came up with an instance of this happening when the ground was frozen. This will never be an issue here in Florida.

This evening, I went to get Tortimer for his soak. He had dug his burrow so deep that I could no longer see if he was in there. I semi panicked and got my husband's lighted endoscope camera to put down there to find him. He was in there, but looked completely covered in dirt and appeared stuck to me. Further panic ensued and started carefully digging by hand to reach him. Once I started that, he came walking out on his own. He usually comes right out of his burrow when I'm out there.

So, I have two new questions -

1) Is it possible he could get stuck in a burrow he dug himself?

2) Should I be concerned about collapse since our "dirt" is actually soft sand?

I'm trying to talk myself down, since we have lots of gopher tortoises on our property and they have burrows all through the woods. Yet, I'm still concerned that the Gopher Tortoise burrows might have more substance since they area all in the woods, therefore having the tree roots to help.
 

SasquatchTortoise

Active Member
Joined
Dec 26, 2020
Messages
332
Location (City and/or State)
Forth Worth, Texas
It’s possible, especially in a wetter climate
it might help to cover it with some boards
remember, even in your environment, you’ll likely need a night box
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
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Jan 9, 2010
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63,629
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
I've searched this question and only came up with an instance of this happening when the ground was frozen. This will never be an issue here in Florida.

This evening, I went to get Tortimer for his soak. He had dug his burrow so deep that I could no longer see if he was in there. I semi panicked and got my husband's lighted endoscope camera to put down there to find him. He was in there, but looked completely covered in dirt and appeared stuck to me. Further panic ensued and started carefully digging by hand to reach him. Once I started that, he came walking out on his own. He usually comes right out of his burrow when I'm out there.

So, I have two new questions -

1) Is it possible he could get stuck in a burrow he dug himself?

2) Should I be concerned about collapse since our "dirt" is actually soft sand?

I'm trying to talk myself down, since we have lots of gopher tortoises on our property and they have burrows all through the woods. Yet, I'm still concerned that the Gopher Tortoise burrows might have more substance since they area all in the woods, therefore having the tree roots to help.
They are literally digging machines. Little bulldozers. Even if it did collapse on him, he'd probably just push through the dirt and walk right on out. The only thing to worry about is if they are down there and get cold and lethargic. They can't stay down there in winter.
 

OliveW

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2022
Messages
286
Location (City and/or State)
Branford, FL
It’s possible, especially in a wetter climate
it might help to cover it with some boards
remember, even in your environment, you’ll likely need a night box

Thanks, he's got a temporary night box right now, just for protection. He will have one with some sort of controlled heat before our winter. We usually have a couple of nights a year where it gets down in the 30's for 10 minutes or so, before it starts heading up again. We have a few weeks a year that are too cold for Tortimer, though.

I have read on here that people use pig mats, or something like that. I will definitely put some research into it well before it's needed. I'm still on the summer learning curve with this guy. 😂
 
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