Can you help ID my tortoises?

ashleyrichardz

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ImageUploadedByTortForum1391235431.944433.jpg I'm fostering these guys and i thought they were Russians until today when someone told me they were sulcatas.

Thank you for your help.
 
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Yvonne G

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Hi Ashley, and welcome to the Forum!

Well, I'm afraid you've been told wrong on all accounts. Those are desert tortoises (Gopherus agasizzi), and they are protected in California. They also look a little bit dry to me. Do you have them on moist substrate, and do you soak them in warm water daily?
 

ashleyrichardz

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Thank you for your reply. Does their being protected in California mean they are not legal to keep as pets? I don't know anything about how they came to be in captivity. I'm only fostering them.

They are in a moist environment during the day (outside) and a more dry environment at night in my room. I soak them regularly and the little one especially likes to soak in their water bowl all the time.


Also. I haven't had them for long and they weren't very well taken care of before i got them. Now that i know the breed i will look into better care.

Thank you
 

ICUSleeping

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They look like flat sulcatas to me. They also look sick/ or not taken care of properly at all. But I'm no expert at all just my 2 cents. best of luck to fostering them. Would you happen to know their background, how long they have had them, type of environment they live in, what they eat? Otber pics? And yes if they are protected they can not be pets. But they are not yours so nothing for you to worry about.
 

Yvonne G

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Hi Ashley:

Are you fostering them for a club or rescue? or for a private party? It is perfectly legal to have them, and their permanent keeper should apply for a permit when they get to be about 3 years of age. Where the legalities come into play is taking them from the wild or buying and selling them, or breeding and intentionally incubating eggs. It is against the law to do that.

When you bring them in for the night, do you have a heat source on them? If yes, then I would suggest a moist substrate to help keep them in a little more humid environment.
 

ashleyrichardz

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Thank you for your suggestions.

A bit of background:
I got the Tortoises from the San Diego turtle and tortoise society
I was told the there were 2 Russian Tortoises who were not well enough to go Into hibernation and I was asked if I wanted to foster them
It was not until after I met with the woman to pick up the tortoises that she told me that a vet had advised that she put them down.
She however did not seem very concerned.
The larger tortoise had a runny nose, the smaller one had no visible nostrils. They both had soft shells
So you are correct in assuming that they are sick.
I'm doing my best to take care of them, but I haven't had much support since I got them. I'm also not sure how long I will have them

They do have a heat source when they come indoors andI will add moisture to the substrate to create a more humid environment
I've been giving them calcium and outdoor time to work on their shells

Overall they eat well and are pretty active, especially the larger of the two. The smaller one is definitely slower but he gets around.

Could anyone give me an age estimate based on their size? The woman told me they were the same age but I have a hard time believing that.

Thank you for your help, I'm happy i found this place. You all are very informative.
 

TiyahLove

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Yvonne, they look like pancakes to me by how flat they are. I've never seen a dessert tortoise though si maybe that's why they look so much like pancakes to me.
 

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