Large tortoise, help me!

Margie_23hearts

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Jun 14, 2024
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Denver, CO
Hi there! I’m new and have bee. Doing research online but honestly could use some help. My niece and her dad took this tortoise in about 10 years ago (I had no idea). Well, he’s had some serious health problems and she lives out of state so this big lady came to live at my house. She’s pretty big - almost 2’ across and weighs about 65lbs. She seemed pretty malnourished and I’ve been doing my best to feed her properly since she came here about 2 weeks ago. She has full run of my backyard (for now), she eats mostly spinach, greens (chard, dandelion greens, green leaf lettuce, aloe, etc) sprinkled with calcium and I usually give her a strawberry or 2 for dessert. My concern right now is that she has deep cracks in her shell and her she’ll seems to be cracking and peeling. I guess I should mention she’s an African Spurred tortoise too. Once the weather gets cold, I’m going to have to figure out how to keep her indoors. This could be a challenge for me as well. My niece’s dad let her roam his house, but she’s big enough that she could move his wood stove. He also had a ranch style home and I have a split level. She’s a spunky gal and I really love her already. Ideas or suggestions for her shell?
 

wellington

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Can't help with knowing the type of tortoise it is
Post pics of her and the way you are housing her, heating her, etc.
 

Tom

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Hi there! I’m new and have bee. Doing research online but honestly could use some help. My niece and her dad took this tortoise in about 10 years ago (I had no idea). Well, he’s had some serious health problems and she lives out of state so this big lady came to live at my house. She’s pretty big - almost 2’ across and weighs about 65lbs. She seemed pretty malnourished and I’ve been doing my best to feed her properly since she came here about 2 weeks ago. She has full run of my backyard (for now), she eats mostly spinach, greens (chard, dandelion greens, green leaf lettuce, aloe, etc) sprinkled with calcium and I usually give her a strawberry or 2 for dessert. My concern right now is that she has deep cracks in her shell and her she’ll seems to be cracking and peeling. I guess I should mention she’s an African Spurred tortoise too. Once the weather gets cold, I’m going to have to figure out how to keep her indoors. This could be a challenge for me as well. My niece’s dad let her roam his house, but she’s big enough that she could move his wood stove. He also had a ranch style home and I have a split level. She’s a spunky gal and I really love her already. Ideas or suggestions for her shell?
They need a heated night box. Its too cold at night for this tortoise right now. Living loose on the floor is a recipe for disaster and that has already been seen. This tortoise needs its own large enclosure with a heated shelter in it for summer. Temperature should not drop below 80 in the box. Here are two examples:


Bringing the tortoise "in" at night or in winter isn't going to work. They need large heated space to roam around in. This is a difficult species to house even in southern warm climates. Its not cheap or easy.

Read this for more info:
 

TammyJ

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Hi and welcome! How about posting some pictures of your tortoise?
 

Classione

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Jun 10, 2024
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MA
Hold off on the aloe and switch to a more balanced diet with hay as the base. Those deep cracks sound serious, pics would be a huge help for everyone to diagnose the shell problems.
 

Yvonne G

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At that size and weight it's probably a sulcata. They originate from Africa and have not evolved to live in a cold climate. The tortoise needs hot and humid, day and night. Listen to what Tom has told you.
 

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