Help! Russian waking after 2 weeks in fridge.

alicemcmk

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Aug 22, 2021
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Hi everyone
I have an issue I wonder you could help me with. We adopted a 15 yr old male Russian from a family on this site last summer. He had brumated for the first time in 15 years with them last winter so I felt we needed to do the same thing. We live in LA so I decided the safest method was in a small fridge outside with a thermometer always reading 40. We followed his lead and when he stopped eating and started burrowing in his outdoor enclosure for most of the day we began his 2 week fast with daily baths.
So into the fridge he went almost 2 weeks ago. Checking on him daily to allow some air into the fridge. However twice now I have left the fridge open for 2/3 mins while gardening just to allow fresh air in and both times when I’ve gone to close the fridge he is awake and semi climbing out of the container.
If I close the fridge and go back and check on him in 30 mins or so he is back asleep. I’m just really wondering now if he doesn’t want to brumate now for some reason? Should I wake him up and cancel his hibernation altogether or should we disturb him less and just not allow the fridge to be open for long?

My 10 year old is obsessed with him and we would all be so devastated if something went wrong so any thoughts you had would be amazing.
Thank you so much!
 

Phil Fishinger

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Oct 29, 2022
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Until an experienced member replies I would suggest using the search feature here looking for an answer, rather than Google, but I personally always like a reply to my own thread as I then know it’s not outdated. Some threads are 10 years old.
 

alicemcmk

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@Tom, have you ever encountered a tortoise waking up in the fridge?
Thank you Tom and Karen have both given me great advice about what to do so am only going to open the fridge every few days for 30 seconds or so and also will fill the fridge with water bottles to regulate temp better. Thanks so much to this forum for their invaluable advice to newbies like me!
 

Tom

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@Tom, have you ever encountered a tortoise waking up in the fridge?
I've had a few get restless in the beginning of brumation, but frankly, I put them in there and leave them be, so I wouldn't know if they were muckin' about or not. I watch the temperature carefully, but I try not to disturb the tortoises too much.
 

Tom

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This sounds interesting.

I haven't had heard of this before but the more I think about it, the more it makes sense. Wow. Cool idea.
"Heat inertia". An empty fridge has to work much harder than a full one to maintain temperatures.
 
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