Florida Gopher tortoise help!

Kekeedoll

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Aug 19, 2020
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Scottsburg
Hi! So long story short my little sister was vacationing in Florida and found a tortoise. Without researching it first she decided to bring it back home to Indiana. Turns out she's illegal to mess with. My sister was not equipped to deal with the care involved so I ended up adopting Patty to try and give her the best life possible. 2 years later she's doubled in size and has a huge personality.

My question is related to diet and bedding as there is very very little info out there on proper care. What ii the best substrate for them to tunnel in? We have the space to let her dig but I want to know what is safest for her to tunnel in. Also I've noticed she's very picky and can only get her to eat red cabbage, kale, butter lettuce and baby greens. Is there anything else I should be adding to her diet?
Current picture for tax
IMG_20200819_140612_874.jpg IMG_20200721_210702_925.jpg
IMG_20190530_000947_678.jpg
What she looked like when I got her.
20200722_174955.jpg
 

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Toddrickfl1

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Keeping that tortoise is HIGHLY illegal. We can't help you with that here unfortunately. I'd suggest you contact the Indiana DNR and see what they advise you to do.
 

Kekeedoll

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Keeping that tortoise is HIGHLY illegal. We can't help you with that here unfortunately. I'd suggest you contact the Indiana DNR and see what they advise you to do.
Thank you I have! There isn't much to be done according to Indiana DNR and Florida DNR says she can't come back to her original habitat for fear of bringing unknown bacteria into their environment. I've tried to give her to Louisville Zoo as well with no luck.
 

wellington

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Whatever that green stuff and the white cotton looking stuff is, it needs to go.
I wouldnt feed cabbage. I would use some plain dirt for a substrate.
As for food, try to get tortoise safe weeds. Optunia cactus pads, dandelion, spring mix, mustard greens.
There is a rescue in GA that may be able to take him. I will try to get their info for you.
 

Tom

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Regardless of legality, the tortoise needs proper care and a proper diet.

Here is the care info, but for this species, you need higher humidity and dampness. You need temperatures like the ones described here:


But due to the humidity requirements you need an enclosure more like the ones here:

Do the closed chamber high humidity, but let the night temp drop down to 70ish. Timers and thermostats will do this for you.
 

Taylorlynn48

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Abington
Hi! So long story short my little sister was vacationing in Florida and found a tortoise. Without researching it first she decided to bring it back home to Indiana. Turns out she's illegal to mess with. My sister was not equipped to deal with the care involved so I ended up adopting Patty to try and give her the best life possible. 2 years later she's doubled in size and has a huge personality.

My question is related to diet and bedding as there is very very little info out there on proper care. What ii the best substrate for them to tunnel in? We have the space to let her dig but I want to know what is safest for her to tunnel in. Also I've noticed she's very picky and can only get her to eat red cabbage, kale, butter lettuce and baby greens. Is there anything else I should be adding to her diet?
Current picture for tax
View attachment 303940 View attachment 303941
View attachment 303944
What she looked like when I got her.
View attachment 303942
This tort is beautiful!!!!
 

Kekeedoll

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Scottsburg
Whatever that green stuff and the white cotton looking stuff is, it needs to go.
I wouldnt feed cabbage. I would use some plain dirt for a substrate.
As for food, try to get tortoise safe weeds. Optunia cactus pads, dandelion, spring mix, mustard greens.
There is a rescue in GA that may be able to take him. I will try to get their info for you.
Thank you for the info!
 

Kekeedoll

New Member
Joined
Aug 19, 2020
Messages
15
Location (City and/or State)
Scottsburg
Regardless of legality, the tortoise needs proper care and a proper diet.

Here is the care info, but for this species, you need higher humidity and dampness. You need temperatures like the ones described here:


But due to the humidity requirements you need an enclosure more like the ones here:

Do the closed chamber high humidity, but let the night temp drop down to 70ish. Timers and thermostats will do this for you.
Thank you sm for the info!
 

Kekeedoll

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Joined
Aug 19, 2020
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Location (City and/or State)
Scottsburg
Whatever that green stuff and the white cotton looking stuff is, it needs to go.
I wouldnt feed cabbage. I would use some plain dirt for a substrate.
As for food, try to get tortoise safe weeds. Optunia cactus pads, dandelion, spring mix, mustard greens.
There is a rescue in GA that may be able to take him. I will try to get their info for you.
The green stuff is a calcium enriched sand (from Florida so my thought was sand) and she was hatched in captivity (longer part of the unfortunate story) and the blanket was with her from birth. She gets very stressed when she can't find it. I do wash it regularly tho.
 

Taylorlynn48

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The green stuff is a calcium enriched sand (from Florida so my thought was sand) and she was hatched in captivity (longer part of the unfortunate story) and the blanket was with her from birth. She gets very stressed when she can't find it. I do wash it regularly tho.
Why/how did she have the blanket since birth? Didn’t you find her in captivity?
I also see a golf ball in there! Lol does she like that? Can you post more pictures of her habitat she is staying in? Would love to see.
 

Kekeedoll

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So her full story goes something like this...
My aunt and uncle are from Florida and found an egg outside. They brought it in and put it under lamps and voila Patty was born. My aunt was highly attached as was Patty who spent most of her time outside and even came to the door to be let in. My aunt got diagnosed with breast cancer and passed and my uncle wanted to rehome the tortoise thinking she wasn't equipped to live in the wild so my sister who came down to visit decided to bring her home. She wasn't caring for properly (no lights, forgetting to feed her, ect...)so I took her and got started putting in the money and effort to get her to thrive. I have tried multiple times to get her to the right people with no luck, so now I'm just continuing to care for her to the best of my ability. Thank you for the advice!
 
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Kekeedoll

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Scottsburg
Why/how did she have the blanket since birth? Didn’t you find her in captivity?
I also see a golf ball in there! Lol does she like that? Can you post more pictures of her habitat she is staying in? Would love to see.
I just put the longer version of get story in the comments and yes I'll happily post more pictures. The plastic golf ball had been a huge fun for her also.
 

Taylorlynn48

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Abington
So get full story goes something like this...
My aunt and uncle are from Florida and found an egg outside. They brought it in and put it under lamps and voila Patty was born. My aunt was highly attached as was Patty who spent most of her time outside and even came to the door to be let in. My aunt got diagnosed with breast cancer and passed and my uncle wanted to rehome thre tortoise thinking she wasn't equipped to live in the wild so my sister who came down to visit decided to bring her home. She wasn't caring for properly (no lights, forgetting to feed her, ect...)so I took her and got started putting in the money and effort to get her to thrive. I have tried multiple times to get her to the right people with no luck, so now I'm just continuing to care for her to the best of my ability. Thank you for the advice!
Wow. What an awesome story! Did they have any idea it was a tortoise egg? That’s one special tortoise!!!
very sorry to hear about the unfortunate news about your aunt. The tort is in good hands.
 

Kekeedoll

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Location (City and/or State)
Scottsburg
Wow. What an awesome story! Did they have any idea it was a tortoise egg? That’s one special tortoise!!!
very sorry to hear about the unfortunate news about your aunt. The tort is in good hands.
Not that I know of. They never even expected it to hatch. Lol
 

Taylorlynn48

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Location (City and/or State)
Abington
I have a little mirror in there too that she enjoys checking herself out in lol. I always worry she's bored.
That’s hilarious. Im going to seriously start getting creative with mine. Thanks for the ideas :) does she chew on the blanket by any chance? Does she recogonize you? Also watch out for the lamps being clamped. It can be a fire hazard. I would get a screen over top of the cage or like slide it in the holes and try to have the lights lay flat on the screen or build a wooden anchor for the lights to hang from.
 
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