1. Welcome! Are you interested in tortoises? If so, we invite you to join our community! Our community is the #1 place for tortoise keepers to talk online. Once you join you'll be able to post messages, upload pictures of your tortoise and enclosure, and discuss any tortoise topic with other tortoise keepers. Get started today!

Gopher Tortoise first winter in Southern California

Discussion in 'North American Tortoises (genus Gopherus)' started by Lauren Tilbury, Jan 31, 2018.

  1. Lauren Tilbury

    Lauren Tilbury New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2017
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    3
    Location (City and/or State):
    Huntington Beach, California
    Hi, This is my first winter for my tortoise. I inherited her Last January 2017.
    My Uncle died in December. He lived in New York. In 1968, he was hunting in the Everglades while visiting my grandmother in Miami. He was driving and she was on the road. He brought her home and she has lived in Manhatten since 1968. Apparently, he never took her outside and she only ate carrots.
    Last January, I kept her in a tortoise box with a heating pad.
    I have got her eating everything. She LOVES baked sweet potato. She loves everything, Kale, strawberries, the things she should be eating.
    She is outside now. She had dug a huge burrow under my patio. She loves it outside. I just can't believe she hadn't been out in 50 years. She definitely remembers how to be a tortoise outdoors. Anyways, she is in her burrow.
    It's been very cold. We have the top enclosed and protected just in case it rains.
    Here is my question. Should I take her, when she is out sunning, maybe later in the afternoon, and put her back in the tortoise box with the heater in it? I've been a little concerned. She seems fine, but I want to do the right thing.
  2. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Messages:
    74,875
    Likes Received:
    37,179
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    Clovis, CA
    (These ads do not appear for registered members.)
    As long as she's dry, she's ok where she is.
    ascott likes this.
  3. orv

    orv Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2014
    Messages:
    338
    Likes Received:
    515
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location (City and/or State):
    Aguanga, CA
    The temperatures dug deep under your patio should be just right for your tortoise to hibernate in. She is most likely a gopher tortoise from Florida. Our California Desert Tortoises are just awakening now to sun themselves, but they dig back into their burrow by afternoon. Your weather in Huntington Beach is a bit cooler than ours here in the high desert, so as long as she is deep enough and rain water can't soak her burrow, she should be fine. It's wonderful to see that after 50 years, her instincts still kick in to keep her safe and happy. Enjoy!
    BeeBee*BeeLeaves likes this.
  4. Stuart S.

    Stuart S. Well-Known Member TFO Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2016
    Messages:
    1,284
    Likes Received:
    1,757
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location (City and/or State):
    Paris, Texas
    That’s a special animal, so glad she has you now. Sounds like she’s landed herself a great retirement spot
  5. BeeBee*BeeLeaves

    BeeBee*BeeLeaves Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2013
    Messages:
    2,280
    Likes Received:
    231
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location (City and/or State):
    Orange County, So Cal
    What a journey for that little tortoise! Glad you found this forum to help you in her care. Quite a transition from Manhattan to HB. Wow!
Similar Threads: Gopher Tortoise
Forum Title Date
North American Tortoises (genus Gopherus) wild Gopher Tortoise Video Sep 11, 2018
North American Tortoises (genus Gopherus) Gopher Tortoise Burrow Use, Home Range, Seasonality, and Habitat Feb 16, 2018
North American Tortoises (genus Gopherus) This will be my first season for My Gopher Tortoise for Hyberntion Aug 31, 2017
North American Tortoises (genus Gopherus) Gopher tortoises Mar 12, 2017
North American Tortoises (genus Gopherus) Do gopher tortoises like to have partners?? Mar 5, 2017

Share This Page