Indian Star tortoise HELP!

cynthia_085

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Hello guys I am here new to this forum. I thank you for accepting me and my new tortoise and I come here in hope of knowledge.

Well... long story short. My mom found a turtle (not native to Colorado) I believe she is a Indian Star tortoise. I don't know much about tortoise, but seeing as how she was in bad in shape I took her in.
I am reading as much information about her as I can. I am a newb to tortoise so I don't know anything if you guys can direct me in the right direction that would help.

I am already looking at building her an indoor home. Can you guys link me to the thread? Here in Colorado USA it gets very cold sometimes and the winter is coming. I will then have to build her a summer home for the summer time.

According to some information I read, she will only grow max 12 inches. She is a female because she laid her first unfertilized egg the day after I got her. My mom found her and brought her home. She is in bad shape.

For example I can see calcium deficiency in her shell so I got some cuttle bone. She has some holes (small ones) in her shell where I think a predator tried to eat her (she was found in a field).

I am feeding her dried plants like dandelions and others plants that are high on fiber. Can some one please tell me what else I can feed her?

Please help I need a lot of help!

What does she eat? How do I avoid her from being too cold or too hot. I do have adequate lights for her and she is at a 85degree temp. What should I do right now since I don't have her indoor house build up?

Right now she has a basking area of 85degrees and a uvv strip light. She is in a 40gallon long and has food and water and a plant.

Please help and help I welcomed as I want to keep her and make her a good home. Thank you
Cynthia
 

Yvonne G

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Hi Cynthia:

I really doubt your tortoise (?) is a star tortoise. I'll bet it's an ornate box turtle. Won't you please post pictures of the animal, then we will be able to offer you better help, aimed more towards the type of animal it is.

If it IS a box turtle, like I think, it will eat more animal/insect matter...veggies and fruit too, but more worms, crickets, etc.
 

Ferretinmyshoes

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Hi Cynthia! I'm in Colorado too. I agree it is very unlikely that it is a star tortoise and much more likely that it's an ornate box turtle, which is in fact native to Colorado. Here are pictures to compare the two species.
Ornate box turtle:
ffc39c0b0291661f40a087b9645095e2_zps3a5462e6.jpg


Star tortoise (expensive and somewhat unusual to see as pets so unlikely you'd find one wandering):
IMG_0272_zps47d70ae7.jpg


That egg very well may have been fertile if it's an ornate box turtle. She may have just wandered a bit too close to civilization, or someone found her and brought her home as a pet and then she escaped because they are excellent escape artists.
 

AnnV

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Maybe she needs veterinary care for the holes in her shell.

Ann from CT
 

cynthia_085

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Hello Ann thanks for responding.

I will try to see if we even have one around my area. Is there a way to get help from a Doctor online?


AnnV said:
Maybe she needs veterinary care for the holes in her shell.

Ann from CT
 

Ferretinmyshoes

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cynthia_085 said:
Hello Ann thanks for responding.

I will try to see if we even have one around my area. Is there a way to get help from a Doctor online?


AnnV said:
Maybe she needs veterinary care for the holes in her shell.

Ann from CT

Where in Denver are you located? I am a veterinarian in Centennial and would be happy to see her!
 

cynthia_085

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Ok yea she is an ornate box turtle.
Man now I feel bad. I thought it was a captive turtle. I think you are right about someone picking her up as pet because she was used to our "hands" and did not struggle.
What should I do? Release her back to nature or keep her? I love the little thing, but if is not possible then I just have to say goodbye to her. Please let me know what to do. Thank you for all your help.


Ferretinmyshoes said:
Hi Cynthia! I'm in Colorado too. I agree it is very unlikely that it is a star tortoise and much more likely that it's an ornate box turtle, which is in fact native to Colorado. Here are pictures to compare the two species.
Ornate box turtle:
ffc39c0b0291661f40a087b9645095e2_zps3a5462e6.jpg


Star tortoise (expensive and somewhat unusual to see as pets so unlikely you'd find one wandering):
IMG_0272_zps47d70ae7.jpg


That egg very well may have been fertile if it's an ornate box turtle. She may have just wandered a bit too close to civilization, or someone found her and brought her home as a pet and then she escaped because they are excellent escape artists.
 

cynthia_085

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Ferretinmyshoes
Thanks for posting; all of you guys too! I am happy someone is helping me out!

I replied to most of your posts, but I can't see them. Will they be showing up? Did I not do something right?

Yes she is a ornate box turtle. I think you are exactly right. I have done research and that field although close to her natural habitat is not natural either. The field is not that big and there are houses all over; new houses and construction. What should I do? Return the turtle where I found it or can I keep it? I thought I was helping the turtle, but maybe I wasn't :( Well what to do now? That is the question. Please give me guidance. Hopefully you can all see this post.
I would like to keep her, however, I am so anti-bug. I just have to suck it up? Oh boy...she is a ornate box turtle. Building the outside pen will be work, but I can do it. If I can keep her when will she hibernate? Is it safe for her to hibernate? Is it too late for her to dig herself and hibernate? There is so much I don't know. I have been treating her like a tortoise and now she is an ornate box turtle. Oh boy...:)


Ferretinmyshoes said:
Hi Cynthia! I'm in Colorado too. I agree it is very unlikely that it is a star tortoise and much more likely that it's an ornate box turtle, which is in fact native to Colorado. Here are pictures to compare the two species.
Ornate box turtle:
ffc39c0b0291661f40a087b9645095e2_zps3a5462e6.jpg


Star tortoise (expensive and somewhat unusual to see as pets so unlikely you'd find one wandering):
IMG_0272_zps47d70ae7.jpg


That egg very well may have been fertile if it's an ornate box turtle. She may have just wandered a bit too close to civilization, or someone found her and brought her home as a pet and then she escaped because they are excellent escape artists.
 

cynthia_085

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Ferretinmyshoes
Thanks for posting; all of you guys too! I am happy someone is helping me out!

I replied to most of your posts, but I can't see them. Will they be showing up? Did I not do something right?

Yes she is a ornate box turtle. I think you are exactly right. I have done research and that field although close to her natural habitat is not natural either. The field is not that big and there are houses all over; new houses and construction. What should I do? Return the turtle where I found it or can I keep it? I thought I was helping the turtle, but maybe I wasn't :( Well what to do now? That is the question. Please give me guidance. Hopefully you can all see this post.
I would like to keep her, however, I am so anti-bug. I just have to suck it up? Oh boy...she is a ornate box turtle. Building the outside pen will be work, but I can do it. If I can keep her when will she hibernate? Is it safe for her to hibernate? Is it too late for her to dig herself and hibernate? There is so much I don't know. I have been treating her like a tortoise and now she is an ornate box turtle. Oh boy...:)


Ferretinmyshoes said:
Hi Cynthia! I'm in Colorado too. I agree it is very unlikely that it is a star tortoise and much more likely that it's an ornate box turtle, which is in fact native to Colorado. Here are pictures to compare the two species.
Ornate box turtle:
ffc39c0b0291661f40a087b9645095e2_zps3a5462e6.jpg


Star tortoise (expensive and somewhat unusual to see as pets so unlikely you'd find one wandering):
IMG_0272_zps47d70ae7.jpg


That egg very well may have been fertile if it's an ornate box turtle. She may have just wandered a bit too close to civilization, or someone found her and brought her home as a pet and then she escaped because they are excellent escape artists.
 

Ferretinmyshoes

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Ideally she would be returned back to the wild. That said, box turtles are a special case because if they are removed from their established territory and released somewhere else they will often roam for a long time looking for their home territory, which can lead into roads or cities. So a lot of people actually do not recommend releasing them back unless you are in a pretty remote area where she wouldn't be at risk for roaming into danger. If you wanted to keep her and can set up a very nice habitat for her and do the research into her care it's not technically wrong imo. And then if she has any eggs that hatch (they can have fertile eggs up to two years after mating) you can return those babies to the wild to help the population.

She will be safe to hibernate since she is in her native environment. And it's not too late because it's not time for hibernation for several more months. My ornates (captive hatched from an injured rescue female in Texas) are still running around all over the place! They don't start even thinking about hibernation until it gets cold outside.

There are a ton of care resources here on the forums and I like this website as an introduction to box turtles: http://www.aboxturtle.com/. So start reading and see what you think about care and feel free to ask questions!

If you're very anti-bug and don't think you can stand feeding times, or just think she might be better off with someone else I would actually be happy to take her, or there is a reptile humane society that always has a lot of ornates looking for homes. And if you can post a picture of her we can see what kind of shape she's in and what extra care she may need.
 

Yvonne G

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Don't release her back into the wild. If you can't offer her bugs and worms, then you can substitute something else for the animal protein...small bits of cooked chicken/turkey, low protein canned cat/dog food. But fruits and vegetables should be the main diet.

You did a good thing by picking up this turtle. She would have ended up pizza on the road if you hadn't rescued her. Please read up on her care, and try to set her up outside in a safe and escape-proof habitat.

http://www.austinsturtlepage.com/Care/cs-ornateboxie.htm
 

cynthia_085

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Thanks so much Ferretinmyshoes! I actually am VERY anti-bug I think it would be better to give her to you as you can provide for her. I don't have a camera so I can't take pictures, but you can come look at her if you live close by. Can you send me an-email with your contact information? I will send you mine. I am happy she will get a nice happy home with proper care :) thank you.

Ferretinmyshoes said:
Ideally she would be returned back to the wild. That said, box turtles are a special case because if they are removed from their established territory and released somewhere else they will often roam for a long time looking for their home territory, which can lead into roads or cities. So a lot of people actually do not recommend releasing them back unless you are in a pretty remote area where she wouldn't be at risk for roaming into danger. If you wanted to keep her and can set up a very nice habitat for her and do the research into her care it's not technically wrong imo. And then if she has any eggs that hatch (they can have fertile eggs up to two years after mating) you can return those babies to the wild to help the population.

She will be safe to hibernate since she is in her native environment. And it's not too late because it's not time for hibernation for several more months. My ornates (captive hatched from an injured rescue female in Texas) are still running around all over the place! They don't start even thinking about hibernation until it gets cold outside.

There are a ton of care resources here on the forums and I like this website as an introduction to box turtles: http://www.aboxturtle.com/. So start reading and see what you think about care and feel free to ask questions!

If you're very anti-bug and don't think you can stand feeding times, or just think she might be better off with someone else I would actually be happy to take her, or there is a reptile humane society that always has a lot of ornates looking for homes. And if you can post a picture of her we can see what kind of shape she's in and what extra care she may need.
 

Ferretinmyshoes

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For those that were following, here she is:
49fb9b0a51ea371e2ee8196a5b2709f6_zps59889c46.jpg


She looks pretty good fortunately! Her shell is a bit flat on top, but not in a really bad way. She's very active and took some gutloaded supers immediately. There are some old scratches and a few healed punctures on the top of her shell where clearly something's teeth tried to get in but fortunately gave up quickly. But no fresh wounds in need of care.

2456fd99850600d8327366219ab43288_zps984f6976.jpg


I'll take her in for a quick X-ray to look for any more eggs. I've named her Lucy. :) Once she's done with her quarantine period she can meet Calvin and Hobbes and maybe she'll stimulate them to finally change their eye color to see if they truly are male or if they'll be Calvina and Hobette!
 

SANDRA_MEISSNEST

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This is a wonderful storie, its good to know that she is in good hands.it cant get better then that. Lucky lucy:shy:

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Oh let me know about the eggs

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Ferretinmyshoes

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SANDRA_MEISSNEST said:
This is a wonderful storie, its good to know that she is in good hands.it cant get better then that. Lucky lucy:shy:

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Oh let me know about the eggs

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Will do! If she has more I'll post the X-ray. She's setup with several areas to dig a suitable depth hole just in case.
 

AnnV

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LOVE HAPPY ENDINGS!! :D
Ann from CT

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cynthia_085

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Thank you for taking her. I am glad she is with you now. I appreciate everything you have done for her. She looks very happy. Thank you again. Cynthia


Ferretinmyshoes said:
SANDRA_MEISSNEST said:
This is a wonderful storie, its good to know that she is in good hands.it cant get better then that. Lucky lucy:shy:

Sent from my ZTE N9120 using TortForum mobile app


Oh let me know about the eggs

Sent from my ZTE N9120 using TortForum mobile app



Will do! If she has more I'll post the X-ray. She's setup with several areas to dig a suitable depth hole just in case.

 

Ferretinmyshoes

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Yep, there are more coming!

4B510487-A957-40FF-8611-4537D02B9CD4-10266-00000C29F7C765F6_zps01b7e328.jpg


Her bone density is good but not great so she's going on heavy calcium supplementation.
 

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