Can you identify my tortoise?

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bagendek

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Hi,

My mom does wildlife rehabilitation so we get a lot of weird animals around my house. Our humane society recently received a tortoise with a slight cut on his neck and so they gave it to my mom. We want to make sure he is getting the right diet while we have him (and will probably end up keeping him), so I figured the right place to start with that would be to identify the species. I've done some googling but it is really hard for me (a total tortoise novice) so I figured I'd come here for help. I have two guinea pigs and have learned so much from the forum for them.

He has really long back legs, and is kind of oval instead of round. He also has a really funny/long beak and I was wondering if we needed to file it or if that was normal.
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nearpass

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Yup, looks like a Hingeback, and the 'beak' is definitely overgrown. Probably has been a long-term captive.
 

Meg90

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I think Bells Hingeback as well....If you know of a good reptile vet, you can take him in and have his beak "dremeled" or worn down. It is uncomfortable for them, and makes eating difficult when the beak is over grown. It is definitely not something to ignore.

I fostered a hingie for a few weeks. They are an insectivorous tortoise, they like earth worms, and mushrooms quite a bit. I would suggest trying portabello mushrooms (as these have a very noticeable scent) and earth worms to get this little tort eating. Banana is also a favorite, but feed SPARINGLY it is very high in sugar, and fed too often can cause health problems, not to mention picky eaters.

You can also offer snails (out of shell)

To help keep the beak down after it has been trimmed, feed on a slate tile, or other rough surface such as a flat stone, and offer a cuttle bone (like the kind for birds--you can get a four pack MUCH more cheaply in the bird section, than you will find in the reptile area of any petstore) The cuttle bone not only wears down the beak, but provides calcium, and the tort will know when and how much to eat based on the body's needs. Takes some of the guess work out of supplementing.

For a diet staple, I recommend Spring Mix. It is available prepackaged in almost every grocery store. It provides a decent variety of young lettuces that are necessary for all herbivorous/semi herbivorous tort species.

You can also add other lettuces too, a little romaine here and there is good. But do not feed ONLY romaine, there is not enough nutrients provided if fed as the diet's base.

Here is an excellent site I found :http://www.carecentre.org.za/hingedback2.html

Hope this helps!

Oh, and I think you have a little lady there as well, but if you would post one more tummy shot, focusing on the tail region, I can give you a more for sure answer.

If you have any more questions, like about lighting, humidity etc. Please post them! Hingies are wonderful tortoises, and not super common in the pet trade.
 

Jacqui

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What a lucky find! So envious of you. :p Bells are not allowed to be shipped into the US any more due to possible ticks. It makes finding animals for breeding to increase the limited populations very difficult.

My Bells favorites besides the worms and mushrooms already mentioned are the fruits such as strawberries, papaya, mangos, and of course the melons such as cantaloupe and watermelon. Hibiscus blooms, grape leaves, and dandelions are other major favorites here.

Be sure you give it a large soaking pan, as hingbacks all love their water. Hides are needed, as they can be shy, but the Bells less then the others.

If you have questions or concerns feel free to PM or email me, and I will be glad to help.
 

bagendek

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Wow, thanks for all of the info. We live in a pretty small town in Arizona, but contrary to what you would think hearing the word Arizona it is pretty cold here and actually gets a lot of snow during the winter, so she is going to have to be housed inside. Have any good links to inside habitats? I think we're constructing a decent cage, but things like places to hide and stuff I'll probably need some good homemade ideas on because we don't really have a pet store up here to get some cool accessories. She seems very active when we bring her inside, but usually tries to go into a corner or behind something so I definitely think she needs some sort of hidey.

Also, regarding the insectivorous diet, are worms/snails a staple food required for nutrition? or are they just a favorite? I don't think I have ever seen a snail here in the wild, and wal-mart sells worms for fishing in the summer but they will be harder to find in the winter. Something my mom does to supplement worms for the baby birds we get is to soak a couple of pieces of cat chow in water until they are mushy then feed it to the birds. It is high in protein and mimics the nutritional value of worms. Would that apply here? or would it be better to just use mushrooms? She has started eating, I've basically been giving her the same diet for my guinea pigs: leafy greans and veggies (romaine, collard greens, spinach, cucumber, bell pepper, and parsley - some of which she didn't like/eat) and some fruit she seemed to eat were kiwi and strawberries. When feeding melons do you include the rind? And I'm guessing pretty much all fruit should be fed sparingly because of high sugar content? or is pretty much half and half veggies/fruit okay? How much should she eat in a day?

We're getting some cuttle bone and a rough tile to feed on today, but I'm not sure any of the vets up here do much reptile work. My mom has worked with/for a couple of the vets so she'll know if any of them are equipped to dremel the beak down.

Any estimation on age? She's about 7 or 8 inches long (just shell). I'll post another picture from below after a bit, I have to run some errands now. Thanks again for all of your help!
 

tortoisenerd

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Welcome to the forum! What a gorgeous tort. :) That's so cool you got given one--they are rather rare!

I just moved from a small town in Northern Arizona.

Here are a few ideas for enclosures: very large Rubbermaid tub (such as the following at Home Improvement stores http://www.rubbermaid.com/rubbermaid/product/product.jhtml?prodId=HPProd2947118), combine two smaller tubs with a tunnel or split them in half and overlap them, a feeding trough, tortoise table (wood box; you would line it with a thick plastic liner), or a Waterland brand turtle tub. Look here for some ideas too: http://tortoiseforum.org/forum-7.html

The most flexible of enclosures is the tortoise table as you can build it exactly the way you want for relatively cheap, while being aesthetically pleasing. The cheapest is a Rubbermaid tub as they are under $50, but sometimes aren't large enough. You want as large of an enclosure as you can provide. You can get wood cut for you at Home Depot if you don't have tools. Plywood is the cheapest. Pine looks a little better but a tad more expensive. I recommend using polyurethane to seal it either way. Then, use a shower pan liner, pond liner, or heavy duty plastic shower curtain before you put in a moist substrate. Make the sides high enough for substrate as deep as the tort plus room for the tort to get on its hind legs without getting out. Too high is better than too short as long as there is air circulation (there should be with a table 5 ft by 3 ft or whatever). They seem to like rectangular tables more than square tables.

Some substrate options are organic potting soil, Cyprus Mulch, Orchid Bark, Coconut coir (Eco Earth is a brand) which can be mixed with < 50% play sand if you want, etc. As far as any other supplies such as heating, you can order anything online now.

Best wishes.
 

DoctorCosmonaut

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Please don't try and file the beak yourself. I think its best left to a professional.
 

egyptiandan

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You do, like everyone has said, have a Hingeback tortoise. To tell what species, you need to count the claws on the front legs. Kinixys nogueyi has 4 claws on the front legs and Kinixys belliana has 5 claws on the front legs.
You need to keep her basicly like a Redfoot tortoise, but with a bit more protein added to the diet. You can feed low fat dry catfood during the winter as she will need the animal protein it contains to do well.
I would cut out the spinach and the parsley as they are to high in oxalic acid, which binds with calcium and makes it unavailable to the tortoises. The calcium oxalates that are produced from the binding can also cause bladder and kidney stones.

Danny
 
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