HOW TO COMPARE/IDENTIFY Tortoise

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christinevandorm

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Hello my name is CHristine from Olympia WA. I am new to this forum and need help from experts. My russian tortoise escaped out of his outdoor habitat. I checked craigslist and someone found one tortoise about an hour drive from here. SHe send me a picture of a russian tortoise. I am trying to compare my pics with hers to identify the shell, but the close-up of my tortosie is a few years old and I know the shell changes. Can someone help cpmpare the 2 pics and tell me if it's mine??????? PLEASE HELP
 

dmarcus

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Hello and welcome to the forum.

Can you post the photo's on here and we will do our best to help you..
 

ascott

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Sure...post both pics and we can give our opinions....

But one question? How long had your tortoise been gone before the other party found it? "an hours drive away" would mean your escapee would have gone roughly 50-60 miles? While easily travelled it would also help to know if your guy had the time to travel an hours driving distance??
 

christinevandorm

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I know he could not have walked that far in a couple od days, I assume somebody picked him up on the road with the car, took him for fun and then let him go up there...or even stole him??? You never know about people......But how odd that I loose a Russian in Olympia and a few days later one is posted in Seattle on Craigslist.....BIG Coincience....WIll post pics here in a second. Keep in mind my close-up picture was taken ca 5 years ago, the other pic is current. Guys how do I attach pics here???

found tortoise.jpg Wilfried 1.jpg
 

dmmj

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you can use tinypic, it resizes them and it has a forum code for posting.
 

christinevandorm

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Hi again, I just posted 2 pics of lost and found tortoise...please help me compare for identification....the second picture where tortoise is eating lettuce is at least 6 years old, the one of tortoise in box is currrent
 

dmmj

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i m gonna say that those are 2 different tortoises. Just my opinion mind you.
 

hoopalou

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Did you compare your weight and scl records with the tortoise that has been found? The straight carapace length should be the same and if he was only gone a week the weight won't be too different either.
 

christinevandorm

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The found Tortoise is in Seattle (about 1 hr away) so I have not driven up there yet to see and hold him myself. I will have to do that....I just wanted some expert opinion in case there is no way this is mine, then I won't need to make the drive

How much does a shell change in a period of 7+ years? Is it a huge change or do they always have features that will not change?
 

October

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I'm gonna go against the flow and say they look similar to me. The "dents" in the scutes along the backbone look very very similar. My Russian does not have anything like that, so I assume it's a unique mark and not something species-wide.

Also, in the newest picture, it almost looks like the beak might be overgrown. Do you remember if your Russian was like that?

And the scute right above the head (Why can I never remember the proper terms?) is growing to the torts right in both pictures.

But I certainly do not have the experienced eyes of other members.
 

egyptiandan

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They are definately 2 different tortoises. Tortoises change, but not that much. Just look at the nuchal scute (the little scute right above his/her head). The one on the left is heart shaped (pretty distinctive) and the one on the right is small and rectangular.

Danny
 

Madkins007

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The front costal scutes, the big ones between the marginals and the centrals, are very different as well- almost all black on one, and only black on about 1/2 of the other. The nuchal scute, right behind the head, is rectangular on one, sort of skinny heart shaped on the other. The first marginals, especially on the tortoise's left, are very different also.
 

Kristina

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Those are not the same tortoise, I am sorry :( Perhaps though, if she is not intending on keeping it, she could keep your contact information and contact you if the owner isn't found?

If you do find your tortoise, please come back and ask some questions on the forum - it appears that you are using rabbit or alfalfa pellets as bedding, and this is not a good bedding to use. We can help you get a better set up for your little guy.

They don't usually stray far from where they escape. Get down on your hands and knees and crawl all around your yard, reaching and digging under plants, tall grass, bushes, etc. Early in the morning when the sun starts to warm the ground, go outside and crawl around again, checking all the plant bases, etc. He may come out to bask in the morning sun. You can also try running a sprinkler, and see if he comes out to drink.
 

Kristina

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October said:
The picture on the alfalfa pellets is 5 years ago. The one in the box is current. Right?

The 5 year ago picture is of the missing tortoise. The current picture is of the tortoise the other lady found.
 

Yvonne G

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Hi Christine:

Welcome to the Tortoise Forum!!

I have to agree with everyone else...that isn't the same tortoise.
 

ascott

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While the tortoise the lady found is beautiful I also do not think it is your tortoise....the shell is too different..... I would also not give up looking for your guy....I would suggest you putting some of his favorite foods out for him at the times you normally would and watch for him...maybe get down low to the ground and see if you see any signs of him....how long ago did you notice your tortoise escaped? Did you find his escape spot? Or is he hiding.g so well maybe he is not gone? These little buggers are masters of the hide and seek ....I hope you get your hands on him really soon ...
 

christinevandorm

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Thanks so much for all the input gus, sounds like most of you don;t think it's the same tortoise...shoot.....I am bummed. He climbed over some rocks in his outside habitat. I hope he is still in somebodys backyard around here.....thanks again for all the input. I will try the pound tomorrow and see if anyone turned him in!
 
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