Is this a desert tortoise?

Lurker

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Wondering if this is a desert tortoise. Thank you for your time.

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dmmj

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even thoughthe shell is weird color wise it does look like it's in the gopher family
 

Yvonne G

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Yes, it is. It also looks like he's had a bit of damage to his shell. All of his scutes should be the color of those on the very top. It almost looks like he's been sitting in water for a very long time. Either that or something caustic.
 

Keith D.

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Yes, it is. It also looks like he's had a bit of damage to his shell. All of his scutes should be the color of those on the very top. It almost looks like he's been sitting in water for a very long time. Either that or something caustic.
Def a DT, and needs a good soaking. I have seen discoloration like that before on a DT that was caught in a fast moving grass fire. It just had enough time to singe his shell before it passed by him.
 

Lurker

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Thanks everyone, I appreciate the advice. I got it from a friend, we're both in Arizona. I don't believe there was any history with fast moving grass fire with this tortoise. I gave it a warm water soak and it let out some sand like substance which could be uric acid. I am not sure its age but it is active and moving around.

So would it be safe if I followed a sulcata habitat advice I found on the forum (50/50 playsand and ecoearth, keeping humidity at around 60-70% with a humidifier or spray bottle, a ceramic heat emitter keeping the heat around 80-90 degrees in wide plastic storage box with a hide) ?
 

Keith D.

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Don't use sand at all 100% coco coir is fine. What part of AZ are u from?
 

Ciri

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Cute little tortoise!

The Desert Museum link above is a great resource for desert tortoise care. You might also like to get seeds for native plants and wildflowers which desert tortoises eat. The link below is to a source which has a desert tortoise seed mix, along with the usual packets of globe mallow, etc.

http://shop.nativeseeds.org/pages/seeds

This is a brochure listing lots of really healthy native foods for desert tortoises:
http://www.azgfd.gov/w_c/tortoise/documents/NativePlantsforDesertTortoises_2008.pdf

Hope all goes well with the little one. Keep us posted.
 
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