Is our tortoise a male or female?

LouisAM120

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Aug 12, 2021
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Poole, Dorset
Hi there, a year and a half ago we got two young tortoises, they were roughly four months old when we got them. When we got them the breeder said they should both be girls due to the temperature at which they were incubated.
They are now about 2 years old and one of them is demonstrating some unusual behaviour and we wonder if this may be because they are actually male.
The tortoise in question is called Kiwi and they are much larger in size that our other tortoise and her sister, Leia. Kiwi also has a much larger tail and currently is constantly trying to dominate Leia via biting her back legs and trying to mount her in a way that appears to be mating.
I have attached some photos and be great if anyone on this forum may be able to help sex Kiwi so we can see what would be best to do with her and help her stop dominating her sister ? We also understand that most tortoises cannot be fully sex’d until 7 years old but the way she is dominating we want to get an idea now so we can look after them both as best we can.
Thanks everyone!
 

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Krista S

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Hello and welcome to the forum!

That definitely looks like a young male tail to me! Regardless if he’s male or female, the 2 tortoises should not be living together. Tortoises don’t want or need a “friend” and one will almost always be bullied to sickness and/or death. The fact that Kiwi is much larger than the other tortoise is proof of this not being a healthy situation for them. Females are usually larger than males with this species. They should be separated ASAP.

Here is an excellent care sheet for your tortoise That I recommend taking a read of. There’s a lot of misinformation on the internet about tortoises, so hopefully you’ll find it helpful.

 

TeamZissou

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Albuquerque, NM
You should also know that this is a hybrid of different Hermann's sub species and really should not be bred with any others at all.

As Krista said, they need to be separated. The other tortoise is smaller because it's been chronically stressed by this tortoise for years which has led to a size difference.
 

wellington

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It's been said above by a couple members already. But it needs to be said again. Seperate the two ASAP! The male as you have already seen is bullying the other and he will also try to mate her to illness or death. You also already see the size difference in them caused by being housed together.
 

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