Hello from So. Cal. Introducing Crush

shellbell

New Member
Joined
Nov 4, 2017
Messages
6
Location (City and/or State)
So. Cal.
xRoaMmxB0UTrzqnq1

We recently purchased a house in So. Cal. and ended up inheriting the tortoise that lives here! We are new to tortoise care but have been reading up on what to feed him (I think it's a him!) and recently built a make-shift night enclosure to keep him warm enough at night. I've benefited from so much good advice from this forum already. I thought I would create an account and participate! :tort:

EFLqc4fuvY8AAI2x1
https://photos.app.goo.gl/EFLqc4fuvY8AAI2x1 -I'm not quite sure how to upload an image from Google Photos, I used the share/link feature, hopefully it will show up.

Crush was named by his previous owners because sadly he was crushed by dogs, I think their own dogs, as a baby. His shell was repaired but has a distinctive "squeezed" on both sides.

I hope to participate and learn more about our new African Sulcata Tortoise!
 

Big Charlie

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2015
Messages
2,803
Location (City and/or State)
California
Welcome! I also have a sulcata in California. They are pretty easy to care for once you have everything set up right. I've built a night box ala Tom's that has a heat panel in the ceiling and a heat mat on the floor, both controlled with a thermostat to keep him a toasty 80%. He comes out even on cold days to eat because he can warm up again in his box.
Here are some of Tom's night box threads:
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/another-night-box-thread.88966/#post-828952
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/my-best-night-box-design-yet.66867/#post-632974
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/double-door-night-box.129054/#post-1204830
https://tortoiseforum.org/threads/another-effective-night-box.86632/#post-807666
 

shellbell

New Member
Joined
Nov 4, 2017
Messages
6
Location (City and/or State)
So. Cal.
Thank you! Tom is very skilled, I wish I had that much energy and know-how. We are lucky that my husband had a wooden crate, which, tipped on it's side with the sliding lid off, made a decent shelter. It's raised a few inches off the ground to keep any rain out. We used the recommended Lowe's garden bark to provide a place to burrow with insulation and I bought a night reptile heater lamp which has a clip so it's facing into the box but high enough so the tortoise doesn't bump it. Over the box, we used some moving blankets for insulation but made sure they don't touch the lamp and plastic over that. We don't get much rain but this is the time of year for it so we are trying to keep it safe and waterproof. We definitely have to make some refinements ;-)
 

Yvonne G

Old Timer
TFO Admin
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 23, 2008
Messages
93,556
Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
Hi, and welcome! It looks like the dogs also chewed off the large scales on the front legs. Poor guy. Well he's a survivor.
 

Big Charlie

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2015
Messages
2,803
Location (City and/or State)
California
Thank you! Tom is very skilled, I wish I had that much energy and know-how. We are lucky that my husband had a wooden crate, which, tipped on it's side with the sliding lid off, made a decent shelter. It's raised a few inches off the ground to keep any rain out. We used the recommended Lowe's garden bark to provide a place to burrow with insulation and I bought a night reptile heater lamp which has a clip so it's facing into the box but high enough so the tortoise doesn't bump it. Over the box, we used some moving blankets for insulation but made sure they don't touch the lamp and plastic over that. We don't get much rain but this is the time of year for it so we are trying to keep it safe and waterproof. We definitely have to make some refinements ;-)
I'm not handy either. I hired someone to build the box but installed the heaters myself. Mine is on the porch under an overhang so I don't have to worry about rain. You might want to look into radiant heat panels and/or heating mats to provide a warmer and more uniform heat.
http://www.reptilebasics.com/rbi-radiant-heat-panels
https://www.kanemfg.com/product/poly-pet-heat-mat/

How big is Crush?
 

shellbell

New Member
Joined
Nov 4, 2017
Messages
6
Location (City and/or State)
So. Cal.
@Big Charlie Crush is about 15" long. I took a few more photos to show his unique situation. His front scales appear to be in-tact, but his shell is definitely deformed.
IMG_20171106_123930874_HDR.jpg IMG_20171106_123833596_HDR.jpg
 

Big Charlie

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2015
Messages
2,803
Location (City and/or State)
California
@Big Charlie Crush is about 15" long. I took a few more photos to show his unique situation. His front scales appear to be in-tact, but his shell is definitely deformed.
View attachment 222182 View attachment 222181
Poor guy! It just shows the resilience of these creatures, that they can survive damage like this. Has he shown that he is male to you yet? It's pretty obvious, and kind of disturbing, when you see it the first time!
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
63,816
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
Thank you! Tom is very skilled, I wish I had that much energy and know-how. We are lucky that my husband had a wooden crate, which, tipped on it's side with the sliding lid off, made a decent shelter. It's raised a few inches off the ground to keep any rain out. We used the recommended Lowe's garden bark to provide a place to burrow with insulation and I bought a night reptile heater lamp which has a clip so it's facing into the box but high enough so the tortoise doesn't bump it. Over the box, we used some moving blankets for insulation but made sure they don't touch the lamp and plastic over that. We don't get much rain but this is the time of year for it so we are trying to keep it safe and waterproof. We definitely have to make some refinements ;-)

The set up you describe will not keep your tropical tortoise warm enough on our cold nights. If that bulb is close enough to warm him, then it will "slow-burn the top of the carapace while the cold air prevents him from warming up enough.
 

Tidgy's Dad

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Feb 11, 2015
Messages
48,208
Location (City and/or State)
Fes, Morocco
Hello, and a very warm welcome to Tortoise Forum to you and Crush! :)
He is unique! :<3::tort:
 

New Posts

Top