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Looking for a tortoise who can survive (and hopefully thrive) in the Michigan climate!!!

Discussion in 'General Tortoise Discussion' started by JYope, Jan 17, 2019.

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  1. JYope

    JYope New Member

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    Location (City and/or State):
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    I live in Michigan aka a wet and cold climate (but it can get up in the 90s in the summer too). I have my heart set on a tortoise but in about a year and a half to two years I’m going to college so I need something that can live in this climate without harm but also hopefully be able to live in a dorm for a little while. Please help, thanks!!!
  2. LaLaP

    LaLaP Well-Known Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    Welcome to the forum!

    There are lots of torts that you can keep in your climate if you are willing to have an indoor enclosure for the winter months or you could get a species that hibernates and get very familiar with how to hibernate a tortoise... it is a process and can be deadly if not done properly.
    BUT all tortoises need a large enclosure. Most need 8x4ft and you probably can't do that in a dorm. Also if you hibernate your tort you'll need a mini fridge (that's right! You put them in the fridge!)
    Unfortunately a tortoise isn't a good choice if you are short on space.
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  3. Gillian M

    Gillian M Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Welcome to the forum.

    I for one live in Jordan, where it snows. Oli is fine indoors, thank goodness.

    However, space is an issue with torts, as they are used to roaming around in the wild without boundaries.
  4. Toddrickfl1

    Toddrickfl1 Well-Known Member Tortoise Club

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    You will need to setup an indoor enclosure. I don't think there is any Tort that can live in your climate outdoors year round.
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  5. JYope

    JYope New Member

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    What tortoises do you think would be the best for my situation?
  6. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Tortoise Club

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    The trouble is, even though the tortoise is small, he still needs quite a large enclosure. I don't think a dorm is a good place for a tortoise enclosure. If I were you, I'd put my desire for a tortoise on hold until you're out of college and have your own place.

    Once you have your own place, a Russian tortoise would do fine in Michigan. He hibernates (brumates) through the winter, so he can live outside clear up to autumn, when he'll start to wind down and get ready for brumation, when you box him up and 'store' him in a cool dry place until Spring.
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  7. wellington

    wellington Well-Known Member Moderator 5 Year Member Tortoise Club

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    Any tortoise can do fine and thrive in Michigan, many already do. It all depends on what you can afford to do and if you have the space too do it.
    Even small tortoises need a lot of space indoors and out.
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  8. TammyJ

    TammyJ Well-Known Member

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    Toddrick, you forgot the rare and reclusive White Spotted Snow Tortoise of Outer Mongolia.
    Just joking!!!:D:eek:
  9. TammyJ

    TammyJ Well-Known Member

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    Hi and welcome to the site!
  10. Toddrickfl1

    Toddrickfl1 Well-Known Member Tortoise Club

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    I always forget that one. I also forgot the mysterious and rare Gucci tortoise. Screenshot_20190118-142223~2.png
  11. Gillian M

    Gillian M Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Oh how cute!
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  12. TammyJ

    TammyJ Well-Known Member

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    Indubitably, the very epitome of tort couture.
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  13. TammyJ

    TammyJ Well-Known Member

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    JYope, there are quite a few clowns on this site...please forgive us. It just helps to make the site more enjoyable and provide comic relief sometimes!
    There are lots of people who keep tortoises although they live in cold places...all you need is the space and the ability to provide correct conditions and diet to make him comfortable!
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  14. Pastel Tortie

    Pastel Tortie Well-Known Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    Have you thought about maybe an aquatic turtle that stays small? Something you could keep in a 20 gallon long tank while at college. Some of the North American mud and musk turtles would be good options.
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  15. Quixx66

    Quixx66 Member

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    Can’t he find a baby hermann’s To stay in a tub for a bit if he wants a tortoise and not aquarium in his room?
  16. rmn813

    rmn813 Member

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    I would recommend either a Marginated Tortoise or a Russian Tortoise. Both are hardy, tough tortoises that can take night time temps down into the 30's. Once your temps are down below 35, I'd suggest bringing them inside. You could set up a winter enclosure or choose to brumate them through the cold months.
  17. Cheryl Hills

    Cheryl Hills Well-Known Member

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    These torts do not tolerate temps that low ! Even when they are brumating.
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