Desert tortoise

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GardeningMary

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Help Needed...........I've just taken in an abandoned desert tortoise, she's beautiful, friendly and quite active, definitely a climber! As far as I know she's lived on grass in the back yard of a house which was vacated about 2 1/2 months ago. She's been with me 2 days now and has eaten some romaine lettuce and a little banana. I'm a little concerned in that she hasn't seemed to drink any water.

I know very little about keeping a tortoise so this is a learning process for her and me! I've been reading up all weekend about this species, but now feel totally confused even in regards to what to feed her as the various websites say different things about food and habitats so I would really appreciate help from anyone who has a desert tortoise. I'd like to build her a home outside for the summer months.
 

Yvonne G

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First of all, ix-nay on the anana-bay! Fruit shouldn't be fed in any quantity to a desert-type tortoise. A taste for a treat once in a while is ok. Secondly, if the tortoise is used to eating grass, then that is the most natural and healthy thing to feed it. Since it came from outside it needs to be set up outside at your house too. A tortoise that has lived outside doesn't acclimate to living indoors very well. The desert tortoise hibernates, but since this is a new tortoise (new to you) we always recommend keeping them up your first winter with them, just to be sure the tortoise is healthy and is eating well. So, now you have a problem.
An outdoor tortoise that needs to be set up indoors. So try to find the largest set-up you can. An old book case with the shelves removed would be good. That would be appx. 3' x 6' maybe. Not ideal, but better than an aquarium! You have to provide a light to simulate the sun at one end of the habitat and a hiding place for security.

Here's a link to a list of foods that you can feed your new desert tortoise:

http://tortoiseforum.org/thread-5823.html

Good luck with your new friend! If you have any questions, we're here to help. And pictures! We love pictures.

Yvonne
 

Yvonne G

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I just had a thought...I've received calls from people for me to come pick up this desert tortoise that was abandoned, lost, found, sick...whatever...and about half the time it really ISN'T a desert tortoise. Since you're new at this, it would be a good idea for you to post a picture of your new tortoise so we can be sure we're giving you the correct information.

If you need help in posting a picture, here's a tutorial:

http://tortoiseforum.org/thread-5245.html

Yvonne
 

dmmj

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the C.T.T.C deals with mis ID deserts all the time a pic would be helpful so we can be sure it is a desert and not something else.
 
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Maggie Cummings

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And I don't see why It can't be set up outside and kept up. Put lights up and a heater and you can keep it up that way. You don't have to set it up in the house. Can't you create a habitat from a tool shed or a Rubbermaid storage shed?
 

LaniValdez10

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maggie3fan said:
And I don't see why It can't be set up outside and kept up. Put lights up and a heater and you can keep it up that way. You don't have to set it up in the house. Can't you create a habitat from a tool shed or a Rubbermaid storage shed?
I think she can create a habitat from a tool shed or a Rubbermaid storage shed or anything if she has the determination to do this thing. But I know that she can do it or she will do it rather because she wants and loves to.


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