Desert tortoise transitioning to New England life :)

NewtoCTMrT

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Hello all! My name is Amanda, and I am a proud owner of a ~15 yr old desert tortoise named Mr T. He has lived almost exclusively an outdoor life in California and hibernates in the winter there. I am recently moved to Connecticut and come this spring, Mr T will be out here with me. Looking for advice on how to keep him happy and healthy out here! (it was so easy in California!). Currently I am a home renter and setting up an outdoor enclosure will be the biggest initial obstacle for us. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!
Thank you all!
 

TeamZissou

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Is this something that you're allowed to do? I do not live in CA nor do I know much about the laws regarding them, but I remember seeing that you need a permit to keep one. Removing them from the state strikes me as something that might not be kosher.
 

Tom

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Hello all! My name is Amanda, and I am a proud owner of a ~15 yr old desert tortoise named Mr T. He has lived almost exclusively an outdoor life in California and hibernates in the winter there. I am recently moved to Connecticut and come this spring, Mr T will be out here with me. Looking for advice on how to keep him happy and healthy out here! (it was so easy in California!). Currently I am a home renter and setting up an outdoor enclosure will be the biggest initial obstacle for us. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!
Thank you all!
What you are doing is illegal, and we can't condone or talk about it on a public forum. Its against forum rules.

Feel free to privately ask any member you want questions about care. Here is general care info for temperate species anywhere in the world. I don't want your tortoise to suffer because of ridiculous laws.:
 

Yvonne G

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Desert tortoises belong to the state and it's illegal to remove them from the state. Besides that, your tortoise has lived it's whole life if a California climate and would more than likely get sick and die in Connecticut's climate.
 

NewtoCTMrT

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Connecticut
Hello all! My name is Amanda, and I am a proud owner of a ~15 yr old desert tortoise named Mr T. He has lived almost exclusively an outdoor life in California and hibernates in the winter there. I am recently moved to Connecticut and come this spring, Mr T will be out here with me. Looking for advice on how to keep him happy and healthy out here! (it was so easy in California!). Currently I am a home renter and setting up an outdoor enclosure will be the biggest initial obstacle for us. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!!
Thank you all!

Hi all again! I do have a permit for him, he is registered but I was never told I was not allowed to remove him from the state. I will definitely be looking into this.
 

zovick

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Hi all again! I do have a permit for him, he is registered but I was never told I was not allowed to remove him from the state. I will definitely be looking into this.
As one who lived in MA and CT for 50+ years, I can tell you that Gopherus species tortoises do not do very well in New England. Yes, before it was illegal I had Gopher Tortoises and Bolson Tortoises there and neither species adapted well to the climate. It is not really warm enough for them and the humidity is too high much of the time.

It isn't clear to me whether you have the tortoise in CT already or it is hibernating in CA and your plan is to get it in the spring. If it is still in CA, I recommend NOT taking it to CT. If it is already in CT, I would find a way to get it back to CA where it can be happier and healthier.
 

NewtoCTMrT

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As one who lived in MA and CT for 50+ years, I can tell you that Gopherus species tortoises do not do very well in New England. Yes, before it was illegal I had Gopher Tortoises and Bolson Tortoises there and neither species adapted well to the climate. It is not really warm enough for them and the humidity is too high much of the time.

It isn't clear to me whether you have the tortoise in CT already or it is hibernating in CA and your plan is to get it in the spring. If it is still in CA, I recommend NOT taking it to CT. If it is already in CT, I would find a way to get it back to CA where it can be happier and healthier.
Thank you so much for the advice- THIS is exactly what I was looking for. He is currently hibernating in CA, and although this makes me terribly sad, I am prepared to do what is best for him. Even if that means rehoming him in CA.
Thank you again.
 

Mrs.Jennifer

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Thank you so much for the advice- THIS is exactly what I was looking for. He is currently hibernating in CA, and although this makes me terribly sad, I am prepared to do what is best for him. Even if that means rehoming him in CA.
Thank you again.
Kudos to you for putting your tortoise’s well being ahead of your desires. I admire your dedication to your tort.
 

Tom

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Thank you so much for the advice- THIS is exactly what I was looking for. He is currently hibernating in CA, and although this makes me terribly sad, I am prepared to do what is best for him. Even if that means rehoming him in CA.
Thank you again.
Along with what @zovick was saying, even here in CA, I've seen people move them near beach areas or up into the SF Bay Area, and they just don't do well with cold and clammy weather. Many of these are brought to me when I worked in the pet shop and we would rehab them by simply moving them inland to a hotter, drier area.

Because it has been illegal to move them out of the state for so long, no one knows how well they can/will adapt to a different climate. Zovick's reference is one of the few I've seen.
 

TeamZissou

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As one who lived in MA and CT for 50+ years, I can tell you that Gopherus species tortoises do not do very well in New England. Yes, before it was illegal I had Gopher Tortoises and Bolson Tortoises there and neither species adapted well to the climate. It is not really warm enough for them and the humidity is too high much of the time.

It isn't clear to me whether you have the tortoise in CT already or it is hibernating in CA and your plan is to get it in the spring. If it is still in CA, I recommend NOT taking it to CT. If it is already in CT, I would find a way to get it back to CA where it can be happier and healthier.

Of course Bill has had Bolsons, wow! Great advice as usual.

Someday I hope to get out to Ted Turner's ranch or to Carlsbad, NM to see them up close.
 
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