Desert Tortoise or Sulcata hibernating in August?

melbelb

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I'm new to this forum, and I have a couple of questions I hope you all can help me with. I'm beginning to believe our beloved Mr. T is missing. We haven't seen him at all since we got back in town last Friday. We were gone for a week, and he was in his burrow when we left, but we haven't seen him or any sign of him since we've been back. His burrow is empty as far as I can see. In asking around if anyone had found a desert tortoise during the week we were out of town, I was told that judging from his picture, I had a sulcata and not a desert tortoise, and that he was probably just hibernating. So my first question is, what species is Mr. T, and my second question is, could he have dug himself so deep in his burrow I can't see him at all? I know they can go into summer estivation and it did get very hot, but we've had 3 days of monsoons and much cooler weather and there's still no sign of him. It's too early for true hibernation, but is it possible?
 

JoesMum

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Sulcatas do not and cannot hibernate. They do burrow though and if the weather has been hot they will head for deep shade such as a burrow and stay there.

Yes, he could have burrowed very deep. I am concerned about the mention of monsoons as a very deep burrow could flood in heavy rain and drowning is a risk. I would honestly suggest a spade and digging out the burrow. This guy needs to be found.

Can you post pictures of your tort here so we can tell you what species you actually have.
 

melbelb

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This was my concern too, so I dug out the section I believed he could have been, and I didn't find him, so maybe he's deeper? I've attached one of the only pictures that would upload properly. My avatar picture is another picture of him.
 

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Yvonne G

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Mr. T is a desert tortoise (those eyes are a dead giveaway!).

When it get real hot, some tortoises estivate. It's sort of like a hibernation, they just stay in the burrow until the weather cools down some.

But from reading your post, it really sounds like he's either escaped the yard or someone hopped the fence while you were gone and stole him.
 

orv

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Don't give up all hope just yet. Desert tortoises thrive in their ability to dig in and hide safely. Three of our desert tortoises emerged from winter brumation in late March, just as usual. One of our females didn't come out with the others so after another three weeks we assumed there was a problem. Their burrow is in excess of seven feet long, but after all this time, checking the burrow with a strong flashlight, we couldn't find her. We checked other possible hides, but to no avail. We began telling the neighbors that we thouht we'd lost her. Then, in late April, there she was, eating at the food dish with the others. She was, and remains in good health. Don't give up . . . our children do things in their own timing (rather rather kike my own kids, all those many decades ago). Let us know when Mr. T shows up.
 

melbelb

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We found him!! Apparently he did get out while we were out of town and wandered several houses away and into a neighbor's backyard. They found him and had decided to keep him and had been keeping him as an indoor pet, allowing him to roam freely with their dog, living off lettuce and strawberries... Thankfully they saw one of my missing toroise posts on a neighborhood Facebook site and decided to bring him home. Back to living like a desert tortoise again.
 

orv

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We found him!! Apparently he did get out while we were out of town and wandered several houses away and into a neighbor's backyard. They found him and had decided to keep him and had been keeping him as an indoor pet, allowing him to roam freely with their dog, living off lettuce and strawberries... Thankfully they saw one of my missing toroise posts on a neighborhood Facebook site and decided to bring him home. Back to living like a desert tortoise again.
Halleluah!
 

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