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In love with a potted plant?

Jarred james

New Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2020
Messages
5
Location (City and/or State)
Rawlins, wyoming
93CB2CB6-1542-443D-9075-B9178040F12C.jpeg Hi, my Hermans tortoise is in love with my norfolk island pine! I have other potted plants on the floor but he goes strait to this one when I let him out to wander the house and will just do circles around it for hours! Please any ideas?
 

maggie18fan

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2018
Messages
622
Location (City and/or State)
Corvallis Oregon
Yes, tortoises do not belong on the floor wandering the house. Floors are cold and torts will eat dust bunnies, paper clips, cat hair...food... all manner of bad stuff. And those of us old timers on this forum remember....after many of us gave that same advice to a new member, that member accidentally squashed and killed their tort in a door. Please keep your tort in a tort habitat before it gets in trouble.
 

Jarred james

New Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2020
Messages
5
Location (City and/or State)
Rawlins, wyoming
Thank you for your reply Maggie, although this was not really what I was looking for. I live in Wyoming, there are very few days my tort can’t go outside, he has an amazing 3 foot by 6 foot habitat but I don’t want to keep him locked up in it all of the time so suggestions instead of criticizing would be helpful. My house is clean (I think dust, hair and random food stuff are also present outdoors and in the wild) and I have never seen him try to eat any kind of anything off the floor. He is out for time short periods to explore and goes back to his enclosure when he gets cold.
Has anyone else heard anything about why he might be so attracted to this specific potted plant? thank you 😊
 

Maro2Bear

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
May 29, 2014
Messages
8,675
Location (City and/or State)
Glenn Dale, Maryland, USA
Maybe it’s more humid in that little micro climate created by deep saucer the N I pine is sitting in. Probably just found it’s spot to hide & be safe behind the pot.
 

maggie18fan

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2018
Messages
622
Location (City and/or State)
Corvallis Oregon
Thank you for your reply Maggie, although this was not really what I was looking for. I live in Wyoming, there are very few days my tort can’t go outside, he has an amazing 3 foot by 6 foot habitat but I don’t want to keep him locked up in it all of the time so suggestions instead of criticizing would be helpful. My house is clean (I think dust, hair and random food stuff are also present outdoors and in the wild) and I have never seen him try to eat any kind of anything off the floor. He is out for time short periods to explore and goes back to his enclosure when he gets cold.
Has anyone else heard anything about why he might be so attracted to this specific potted plant? thank you 😊
OMGosh! I am so sorry you took my 'advice' that way. I in no way meant any disrespect. Seriously. I simply wanted to spare you the regret of losing a pet to an accident of some sort. So for that I do apologize. But now that you are offended anyway...you are stressing your tortoise out by your treatment of him...oh and my cats also prefer my Norfolk Island Pine to any of my other plants... :)...now can we be friends?
 

Jarred james

New Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2020
Messages
5
Location (City and/or State)
Rawlins, wyoming
OMGosh! I am so sorry you took my 'advice' that way. I in no way meant any disrespect. Seriously. I simply wanted to spare you the regret of losing a pet to an accident of some sort. So for that I do apologize. But now that you are offended anyway...you are stressing your tortoise out by your treatment of him...oh and my cats also prefer my Norfolk Island Pine to any of my other plants... :)...now can we be friends?
 

Jarred james

New Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2020
Messages
5
Location (City and/or State)
Rawlins, wyoming
It is fine I understand your concern. He seems bored in his inclosure though, pacing the edges and knocking his shell against the sides like he wants out. Do you think it would be bettter to just leave him in constantly?
 

Jarred james

New Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2020
Messages
5
Location (City and/or State)
Rawlins, wyoming
Maybe it’s more humid in that little micro climate created by deep saucer the N I pine is sitting in. Probably just found it’s spot to hide & be safe behind the pot.
He has a saucer I keep in his inclosure with fresh water, what is a good humidity for herman Tortoises in your opinion I have read a wide range on different sites? He also seems more interested in the actual pot than the water dish. Do tortoises see in color? Maybe the texture color or smell reminds him of something he likes? I need a tortoise shrink 😂
 

Richard Davis

New Member
Joined
Nov 1, 2019
Messages
3
Location (City and/or State)
Indio, CA
View attachment 285674 Hi, my Hermans tortoise is in love with my norfolk island pine! I have other potted plants on the floor but he goes strait to this one when I let him out to wander the house and will just do circles around it for hours! Please any ideas?
I understand your concern my buddy is in love with my outdoor Air Conditioning unit. He spends the entire summer next to the unit and if he could he would get between it and the house. He can't get back there because I keep it blocked off. I keep it blocked off for fear he will get back there and rub a wire bare and get electrocuted.
 

Farcryjj

Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2016
Messages
88
I think each tort has its own thing. This one just loves that pot. They are just all so stubborn in their own way...
 

Sa Ga

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2019
Messages
432
Location (City and/or State)
MN
Yes, tortoises do not belong on the floor wandering the house. Floors are cold and torts will eat dust bunnies, paper clips, cat hair...food... all manner of bad stuff. And those of us old timers on this forum remember....after many of us gave that same advice to a new member, that member accidentally squashed and killed their tort in a door. Please keep your tort in a tort habitat before it gets in trouble.
I think you point out a very important warning, Maggie. Thank you for sharing that warning to people who might not know or think about those factors.

Jarred, indeed, there are random things in the wild too--and torts DO sometimes eat the wrong things and they die. They are tough creatures, but they obviously meet their demise frequently enough in nature too, or given their long lifespan, there'd be way more running around than there are.

Your home may be clean but remember, others read these post and may learn something they didn't think of--like elusive dust bunnies or pet hair they missed! And NO ONE can guarantee against all accidents. We can only work to minimize their chances of happening. Please don't take offense if someone gives a suggestion/information. People do it all the time here, and it saves very precious lives.
 

maggie18fan

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2018
Messages
622
Location (City and/or State)
Corvallis Oregon
It is fine I understand your concern. He seems bored in his inclosure though, pacing the edges and knocking his shell against the sides like he wants out. Do you think it would be bettter to just leave him in constantly?
Jarred....Yes it is...the biggest thing is that tortoises don't like change. If you don't think he should stay in his habitat it needs to be bigger. I had Queenie, a beautiful Hermanni and she lived in a 9x4 tort table when she couldn't be outside...There's an article here about tortoises don't like change by Yvonne. I couldn't find it for lack of time. But you should read it...interesting...
 

Jnics10

New Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2017
Messages
18
Location (City and/or State)
Chicago
This reminds me of the story about the penguin who fell in love with a life-size cutout of an anime character that was in his enclosure at a zoo in Japan. He would just sit there and stare at it all day, and when they took it away he became extremely depressed and his health started declining, so they put it back!

Also, funny enough, I just posted in another thread about my redfoot and his romantic relationships with his rubber duckies and my feet. Like, he just won't leave them alone. If I'm in the room, he needs to be as close to my feet as physically possible. Smh... Teenagers!

This also made me think of a study I read recently on tortoise's memory. Nine captive tortoises of different species were taught a behavior that was heavily and daily reinforced with treats and praise over the course of one year. Ten years later, the researchers returned to each one and made the hand sign that was the signal for the behavior from ten years prior. I believe like 8 of them did the behavior right away! And the other one remembered quite quickly after only a few tries! Pretty amazing stuff. The study goes on to talk about other research done on tortoise's memory and calls them "the elephants of the reptile kingdom"

Long story short, it's very possible the scent or shape of the plant reminds your tort of something from their past!!

P.S. -- I'm going to try to find both the penguin article and the study and link to it here if I can!!
 

Relic

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2018
Messages
256
Location (City and/or State)
In the sunny south...
This reminds me of the story about the penguin who fell in love with a life-size cutout of an anime character that was in his enclosure at a zoo in Japan. He would just sit there and stare at it all day, and when they took it away he became extremely depressed and his health started declining, so they put it back!

Also, funny enough, I just posted in another thread about my redfoot and his romantic relationships with his rubber duckies and my feet. Like, he just won't leave them alone. If I'm in the room, he needs to be as close to my feet as physically possible. Smh... Teenagers!

This also made me think of a study I read recently on tortoise's memory. Nine captive tortoises of different species were taught a behavior that was heavily and daily reinforced with treats and praise over the course of one year. Ten years later, the researchers returned to each one and made the hand sign that was the signal for the behavior from ten years prior. I believe like 8 of them did the behavior right away! And the other one remembered quite quickly after only a few tries! Pretty amazing stuff. The study goes on to talk about other research done on tortoise's memory and calls them "the elephants of the reptile kingdom"

Long story short, it's very possible the scent or shape of the plant reminds your tort of something from their past!!

P.S. -- I'm going to try to find both the penguin article and the study and link to it here if I can!!
I can attest to the hand sign stimulated behavior. My wife has developed several hand signs that immediately modify my behavior...
 

Kipley

Active Member
Joined
Jul 17, 2019
Messages
93
Location (City and/or State)
Seattle, WA
I adopted an 8+ year old Redfoot last August. It had lived in either a glass 4' x 4' enclosure, a rabbit cage with a rabbit, or free roamed the house, or a combo of the above in the years prior to moving here. All I had time to prepare was an enclosed 3" x 6" stock tank. He wasn't happy with the change and being enclosed. So several times a week he gets out to roam the kitchen for 15 minutes to an hour. I turn the heat up and keep him in visual range at all times. He gorges on Mazuri LS when he is out, and won't eat it in his enclosure, no matter how I offer it, or on what surface. Odd guy. He only will eat greens in his enclosure, but fruit or animal protein is happily gobbled up no matter where he is at the time.

I have Greyhounds and use raised feeders that look like wrought iron plant stands - his favorite spot is sitting directly under one of these stands.
 

Crush da Baum

Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2020
Messages
81
Location (City and/or State)
Brooksville
Yes, tortoises do not belong on the floor wandering the house. Floors are cold and torts will eat dust bunnies, paper clips, cat hair...food... all manner of bad stuff. And those of us old timers on this forum remember....after many of us gave that same advice to a new member, that member accidentally squashed and killed their tort in a door. Please keep your tort in a tort habitat before it gets in trouble.
that is soo terrible
 

Sue Ann

Active Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2019
Messages
196
Location (City and/or State)
chapin , South Carolina
I adopted an 8+ year old Redfoot last August. It had lived in either a glass 4' x 4' enclosure, a rabbit cage with a rabbit, or free roamed the house, or a combo of the above in the years prior to moving here. All I had time to prepare was an enclosed 3" x 6" stock tank. He wasn't happy with the change and being enclosed. So several times a week he gets out to roam the kitchen for 15 minutes to an hour. I turn the heat up and keep him in visual range at all times. He gorges on Mazuri LS when he is out, and won't eat it in his enclosure, no matter how I offer it, or on what surface. Odd guy. He only will eat greens in his enclosure, but fruit or animal protein is happily gobbled up no matter where he is at the time.

I have Greyhounds and use raised feeders that look like wrought iron plant stands - his favorite spot is sitting directly under one of these stands.
I think that’s their safe spot. Even outside Dexter has a special place he hides when done roaming
 

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