Cross-breeding sub-species Greek tortoises

Emma Vicarage

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Hi, this is my first post here as I can't seem to find the answer by Googling.
I have a spur-thighed tortoise, originally sold to me as male (I wasn't bothered which) but suspected for the last few years it is actually a she. She is now nearly 13 years old and is very big now.
I've recently taken on a small, obviously male, Hermann tortoise who is nearly 3. They each have their own enclosure but started putting them together outside. I know tortoises are generally solitary but they've appeared fine and friendly with lots of nose-booping. However, they've now got a little too friendly. I don't want to breed them but is this is any way dangerous to my female as it's so much easier to let them have common space together. Thanks for any information. Emma
 
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Tortoises should not be housed in pairs. Tortoises of different species or subspecies should not be housed together.

You don’t actually have two Greek tortoises.
One is a Testudo graeca ______(insert subspecies here), and the other is a Testudo hermanni boettgeri.

One is a Greek and one is a Hermann’s. They are NOT the same species, which always makes them a danger to each other. They should never be allowed to breed. They should never be housed together.

I will let someone else more experienced address the behavior, which is not friendly.
 
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Emma Vicarage

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Wellington, Somerset
Thanks for advice. I think I meant types of Mediterranean tortoises, as opposed to Greek. They aren't housed together but it looks as if I may need to separate when putting them outside now. She doesn't seem bothered by his attentions, just don't want her suffering in any way because of it.
 
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Thanks for advice. I think I meant types of Mediterranean tortoises, as opposed to Greek. They aren't housed together but it looks as if I may need to separate when putting them outside now. She doesn't seem bothered by his attentions, just don't want her suffering in any way because of it.
I mean allowing them to interact kinda counts as housing together to me. They shouldn’t be allowed together at all, ever. There are some diseases particular to some species that can kill others so it’s absolutely unsafe.

I don’t have the experience of the members here, but if you poke around there’s lots of past forum posts where the danger of pairs have been addressed. You don’t think she is bothered, but from all my research the nose “booping” you describe is actually aggressive behavior. She is bothered.

Please read the below threads to help you understand the impact of keeping two tortoises together, at any point for any length of time.


 
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Emma Vicarage

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Aug 6, 2022
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Wellington, Somerset
Thank you for sharing this, I will certainly keep them separate. I was doing some people I knew a favour taking him on (they are elderly, unwell and couldn't cope.) The 2 will just have to have separate times outdoors at the moment. I don't think he is at the stage of being a bully so far but I think he could become one, even though he is tiny compared to her at the moment, Thanks, Emma
 
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Thank you for sharing this, I will certainly keep them separate. I was doing some people I knew a favour taking him on (they are elderly, unwell and couldn't cope.) The 2 will just have to have separate times outdoors at the moment. I don't think he is at the stage of being a bully so far but I think he could become one, even though he is tiny compared to her at the moment, Thanks, Emma
Happy to help!

She could absolutely be the bully too, it’s not a sex specific thing. Greeks can be a very aggressive species. Also, there is more danger I believe when tortoises of different sizes are housed together.
 
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