desert tortoise came out early - croaking

Depot

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Hello, I would like some advice.

My family's desert tortoise came out early today. We live in Southern California, he has never had an issue coming out early until I noticed him come out today. It started raining, the weather this year has been bipolar this year, from very hot to very cold (for Southern California). He came out and he is croaking.

He has an outdoor shelter currently.

Should I put my tortoise in a heated space in the garage for the meantime?

I need help please.
 

SinLA

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Can you clarify what you mean by "he is croaking"? As in he is making a croaking sound, or he is dying? Also what part of SoCal are you in? Don't need an address but a more specific area, as Venice has very different climate vs Santa Clarita vs Joshua Tree... There are a number of us in SoCal on here.
 

Depot

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Can you clarify what you mean by "he is croaking"? As in he is making a croaking sound, or he is dying? Also what part of SoCal are you in? Don't need an address but a more specific area, as Venice has very different climate vs Santa Clarita vs Joshua Tree... There are a number of us in SoCal on here.
Thank you for replying. He is making a croaking sound. Beaumont area.
 

SinLA

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@KarenSoCal is in your general neck of the woods and @Tom can also probably advise.

This is a good source to read in general

but it won't answer your questions here.

I assume he was hibernating "naturally" outside? Do you know where he hibernates? If you were to "put in the garage" what does that mean exactly? Do you mean wander around your garage because its warmer?

We dont recommend having tortoises have free range of indoor spaces (unless specifically set up for them and only them) as there are a lot of dangers. Do you have an indoor enclosure for it? (most do not, but just asking anyway).

I don't really know what to say about the croaking sound. Any chance you can upload a video of it?
 

Depot

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Hello, thank you for your response.

Yes, he was hibernating naturally outside. Every year he naturally goes into an outdoor enclosure that was built for him. I was just shocked to see him today in the rain. By put in the garage, I mean building him an enclosed space in the garage, not with free range but to keep him safe and warm.

I am just new to him coming out this early. I don't know if I should let him be outside or if I should keep him indoors. The temperatures the next few weeks are highs of mid 50s to lows of mid 40s.
 

Tom

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Hello, thank you for your response.

Yes, he was hibernating naturally outside. Every year he naturally goes into an outdoor enclosure that was built for him. I was just shocked to see him today in the rain. By put in the garage, I mean building him an enclosed space in the garage, not with free range but to keep him safe and warm.

I am just new to him coming out this early. I don't know if I should let him be outside or if I should keep him indoors. The temperatures the next few weeks are highs of mid 50s to lows of mid 40s.
This is the reason why we can't just leave them outside to fend for themselves. There is too much temperature fluctuation above ground. Too hot some days, too cold some nights. They must be brumated in a cold consistent temperature. Read about this in the thread linked for you by SnLA in post #6.

Now that he is awake and clearly on his way to a full blown respiratory infection, he needs a large indoor enclosure with the correct temperatures and a couple of heat lamps for basking. This can be done outdoors too with the right set up, but that takes time to build. It is shown and explained here:
 

KarenSoCal

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Hello, and welcome to the forum.

I certainly can't add anything to Tom's post, except to tell you that I had a desert tortoise come out of brumation early also. I was brumating him in a small 4.2 cu ft fridge and we had a power outage. He woke up when the fridge warmed up. Fortunately he awoke only about 3 weeks before he normally would have.

I didn't have an indoor enclosure for him because he was given to me as an adult. So I put him in a very large cardboard box that had its "roof" removed. I used a plastic container of some sort for a hide, put in a water dish, and set up a basking light for him with a couple warming rocks. I also fixed it so I could lay a towel over the top of the box to keep the heat in, especially at night.

He did just fine for the next 3-4 weeks, and by then the weather cooperated and he went to his outdoor enclosure. If I ever have another brumating species, I will most certainly use a fridge. Living here, there's just no other way to maintain a consistent temp.
 
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