Darwin/Outdoor Enclosure Update!


Jan 15, 2016
Hello forum peoples. It’s been a long while since I posted but I wanted to give an update on my bug guy.

Darwin is a three year old male leopard tortoise. He is currently sitting at around 10 inches long. I haven’t weighed him recently but he just had his check up and his exotic based veterinarian stated he was a “healthy tank”. He eats Mazuri tortoise LS pellets and a mixture of organic dandelion greens and organic spring mix (i remove a lot of the spinach).

My fiancé and I were finally able to buy and move into our new house so we were able to build Darwin an outside enclosure. I did a load of research in this subject trying to find the best designs/structures. All while keeping in mind that this guy is a digger. I have posted pics below.

The walls of his enclosure are made with 90 of those petal wall stones. They are tremendously heavy so he can’t push them over (trust me, he’s tried). While building this we dig around a foot into the ground and laid down metal mesh so that if he did get to digging he wasn’t going to go anywhere, this was recommended by the vet as a way to also deter other animals from digging up into the enclosure (we will touch in this later). The top of the enclosure is currently covered with a heavy duty plastic mesh that is suppose to deter birds. We have yet to see any hawks around here but I’m not risking that.

In the enclosure I am using the top of on of those plastic dog houses as a hide and a large plant pot holder as his watering bowl.

We currently take him out for a couple hours at a time and I would like to work him up to being outside during the day. Say from 8am to 4pm EST. At night he returns to his indoor habitat that he has yet to outgrow(pics can be seen in my other posts about it). One of our spare bedrooms is dedicated to this little guy.

So far things have been great. He loves walking around, chilling in the tall grass and occasionally taking a snooze in the hide.

The only “issue” and I use quotations cuz I’m not 100% sure it is even a problem is that I have spotted a few moles running around in there. When I see them I splash them with the hose. CURSE RODENTS AND THEIR COLLAPSABLE SKELETONS!!! I really don’t know how they managed to get it but anyway, are these guys a danger to Darwin?

Any additional critiques,comments, and questions are welcome on the enclosure and Darwin’s care.


  • F629C69C-5DA8-44AE-97B5-25EDFDC60C80.jpeg
    4.8 MB · Views: 56
  • 7630A28D-327B-4C1E-A1E7-EC3705550264.jpeg
    5.9 MB · Views: 57
  • 573E3E7A-E25F-4A51-9530-F92C730B955E.jpeg
    2.9 MB · Views: 48
  • CF7DD912-9893-4BD7-9F1F-7AE8E4EA0639.jpeg
    2.2 MB · Views: 48