Herman Hibernation help/advice

Turbotime

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Hey all, I could use some advice around hibernation for my Herman tortoise. I keep finding contradicting advice all over google so if someone could advise that would be really helpful!

Turbo (Herman Tortoise) has never been put into hibernation before by us, however a fun fact about Turbo is that he ran away for a year and a half and returned to us in June last year - now whilst he was away on his adventure there was a very cold winter with lots of snow. He was tiny when he left and so sadly we assumed he wouldn't have survived it. Well, when he returned to us he was SO much bigger and looked healthy and happy. After a vet visit and a microchip later, we now have a happy healthy tortoise back in our home, however I am now thinking about his hibernation - I didn't think to hibernate him this winter but realised perhaps I should have - I can only assume he MUST have hibernated whilst he ran away to survive that winter, and I heard that if a tortoise hibernates once you should hibernate them every year - is that right? He's also 5 now, and lots of people have said that 5 is the age they start to hibernate their tortoises.

He's never tried to hibernate before, but I have noticed generally when it's a bit colder that he has phases where he doesn't eat as much and sleeps a lot, but that only lasts for a few days and then he's charging around again and basking. When do you know its the right time to hibernate your tort? (although I suspect i have missed the best time to hibernate him)
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
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Hello. Start here:

Then here:

Then here:
 

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