Male Hermann Alone or with 2 females?

Meg & Mac

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Hello, I have a 60-70 year old Hermann tortoise that's lived with us for 3 years now. He has definitely formed a bond with me. I always worry he is lonely as he always runs to see me or anyone else passing his indoor or outdoor enclosures. He is currently on holiday at a tortoise sanctuary to see if he gets on and appears happier with 2 female tortoises. I know they're predominantly solitary creatures, he just appears to really like company. His previous owner had a lot of time to sit with him, which I think is where he got it from.....I'm abit or a worryier. I'm heart broken by the concept of him not living with us anymore and fundamentally want the best for him. He is healthy and shows all the signs of being a happy tortoise with him. Hard to seperate my human idea of loneliness and his needs. Really intrigued to hear what others think on the topic. I have read so many previous posts and articles. I just don't know what's best for him......
 

wellington

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All your feelings are yours not his. In the wild they live happily alone. Will.find a female to breed, then go alone about their business.
You have to take your human feelings and keep them out of the way of caring for your tortoise.
If you want to get two females and house them together, you have to have a very big enclosure. Like a good size room or yard. One needs a minimum of a 4x8 foot and should even be bigger.
 

Meg & Mac

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All your feelings are yours not his. In the wild they live happily alone. Will.find a female to breed, then go alone about their business.
You have to take your human feelings and keep them out of the way of caring for your tortoise.
If you want to get two females and house them together, you have to have a very big enclosure. Like a good size room or yard. One needs a minimum of a 4x8 foot and should even be bigger.
Thankyou for your reply and help. Maybe you might be able to help me further? I'm so torn, and confused weighing up the pros and cons of him living with her rather than us.nThe lady who is currently looking after him has a massive outdoor enclosure, 2 females and might get another 2 girls. All was looking really positive for him to stay there but I just found out that she might get another male and put him within the same enclosure, which I know is a no no with male Hermann's. She also just has them walking around the house in the winter (with the lights and heat in an alcove), which I'm not very comfortable with. Trying to weigh up the pros and cons. He has a big out door enclosure with us and the recommended size indoor enclosure. He's used to a heat lamp in the morning and evening before he goes outside and when he comes in in the eve in the warmer months. She has them in a hut outdoors, with no lamp. He's quite old so I'm worried he won't be warm enough. I might sound like I'm overthinking it, I probably am. Your previous comment was really helpful. It's so hard to seperate the human feelings but I know and appreciate it has to be done if I'm going to look after him. Thanks again. I really appreciate it, this is all such a learning curve.
 

zolasmum

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Thankyou for your reply and help. Maybe you might be able to help me further? I'm so torn, and confused weighing up the pros and cons of him living with her rather than us.nThe lady who is currently looking after him has a massive outdoor enclosure, 2 females and might get another 2 girls. All was looking really positive for him to stay there but I just found out that she might get another male and put him within the same enclosure, which I know is a no no with male Hermann's. She also just has them walking around the house in the winter (with the lights and heat in an alcove), which I'm not very comfortable with. Trying to weigh up the pros and cons. He has a big out door enclosure with us and the recommended size indoor enclosure. He's used to a heat lamp in the morning and evening before he goes outside and when he comes in in the eve in the warmer months. She has them in a hut outdoors, with no lamp. He's quite old so I'm worried he won't be warm enough. I might sound like I'm overthinking it, I probably am. Your previous comment was really helpful. It's so hard to seperate the human feelings but I know and appreciate it has to be done if I'm going to look after him. Thanks again. I really appreciate it, this is all such a learning curve.
I think he would be happier and safer with you - he shows he likes to be with you,and he has a good set-up which you have thought out properly He wouldn't be lonely - he has you .
Angie (from Devon)
 

zolasmum

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I think he would be happier and safer with you - he shows he likes to be with you,and he has a good set-up which you have thought out properly He wouldn't be lonely - he has you .
Angie (from Devon)
I would also like to add that we have a 22years old Hermann's tortoise, who we have had since he was a baby. He loves to be with us, and comes running when he sees me - and not just for food! He has his "love objects" if he gets in a romantic mood.!
If you put your chap in with other tortoises -male or female - for any length of time,bullying would almost certainly take place -and there are lots of stories on this forum about how much of a problem this can be.It really wouldn't be kind to him to put him in such a situation.
He won't be lonely on his own, especially if you provide interesting things in his enclosure for him to climb on etc and if you can spend a bit of time with him each day, that would be good.
What is his name, by the way?
Angie
 

Meg & Mac

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I would also like to add that we have a 22years old Hermann's tortoise, who we have had since he was a baby. He loves to be with us, and comes running when he sees me - and not just for food! He has his "love objects" if he gets in a romantic mood.!
If you put your chap in with other tortoises -male or female - for any length of time,bullying would almost certainly take place -and there are lots of stories on this forum about how much of a problem this can be.It really wouldn't be kind to him to put him in such a situation.
He won't be lonely on his own, especially if you provide interesting things in his enclosure for him to climb on etc and if you can spend a bit of time with him each day, that would be good.
What is his name, by the way?
Angie
Hello Angie,
Thanks for your reassurance. Mac has his love objects too, got a wierd thing for black plant pots and an ab excersise roller!

Yeah I feel so much more confident having had this time with him being at the sanctuary. I see know from support on here and talking to tortoise specialists that we can give him a good life.

So lovely to hear your story. This feels like such a supportive community. Definitely helped me alot.

Thanks again.
Meg
 

zolasmum

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Hello Angie,
Thanks for your reassurance. Mac has his love objects too, got a wierd thing for black plant pots and an ab excersise roller!

Yeah I feel so much more confident having had this time with him being at the sanctuary. I see know from support on here and talking to tortoise specialists that we can give him a good life.

So lovely to hear your story. This feels like such a supportive community. Definitely helped me alot.

Thanks again.
Meg
I am glad you have decided to keep Mac yourself - I am sure that he will be happy with you. And you can be pretty sure that whatever problem you might have in the future, there will be people on the forum who will be able to help from their own experience.
Did you ever go to the tortoise sanctuary in St Austell ? It closed some years ago, unfortunately, but the lady who ran it was very kind to us when Zola was little. I wish this forum had been around when we first got Zola, as I have learned so much I didn't know then.
Angie
 

Meg & Mac

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I am glad you have decided to keep Mac yourself - I am sure that he will be happy with you. And you can be pretty sure that whatever problem you might have in the future, there will be people on the forum who will be able to help from their own experience.
Did you ever go to the tortoise sanctuary in St Austell ? It closed some years ago, unfortunately, but the lady who ran it was very kind to us when Zola was little. I wish this forum had been around when we first got Zola, as I have learned so much I didn't know then.
Angie
No I didn't get the chance to go there, it sounds wonderful. I'm still slightly in two minds, aparantly Mac's been chattering away with the 2 females and following them around. He seems to be eating new things too, maybe he's learning from them. I'm worried though, as on the advice of the vets we don't hibernate him, as he was too poorly when we first got him the lady at the sanctuary says she'd let him if he showed signs he wanted too, but all I've read says once you've chosen one way, you should stick to it. She seems to think he's bonded with one of her females too, on a platonic level not for mating purposes, but I just don't know. I just gotta trust her judgement with that. the reason I took him there was because I thought he might need more company. Sorry I'm so confused as to what to do. One day I'm like, I'll keep him I can give him a Greta life, them the next I think she can give him a better life.
Oh my days!

Thanks for your support. No need to get back to me if my worrying is doing your head in too 😉
Meg
 

wellington

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I agree. If where he is at now is not going to do a lot better then what they are doing, then you should keep him with you. Also try to educate the lady about how bad she is thinking with adding two Males together and the walking around the house. She's just asking for all kinds of problems and the tortois pay for them
 

zolasmum

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I can't advise you, but I would say, from what I have learned from the forum and elsewhere, that it is going to be risky having Mac with the females - yes, all may be ok for a while, but it could change at any time - I think, to be honest, it would be unfair on them too, as if he were to get over excited, he could cause serious damage to one or both of them ! You would feel awful if that happened.
Also, as Wellington says, wandering round the house is very unwise.
My personal opinion,especially as Mac is 60 or 70 years old, is that in the long run, he would be much better in his own place, with you and his black plant pots for company. The lady who is looking after him may think he has bonded with one of the females - but tortoises DONT bond like that - read what Wellington wrote earlier - he may well have bonded with you, but that's different. I think Zola has bonded with me, but again, that's different.
As for hibernation,again, he is quite old, and if he hasn't done so before, and the vet advises not to - he might die, because his body would have to cope with a quite different situation.
I do understand how you feel - you want the best for him - but although it is a difficult situation, I honestly feel you would be making a big mistake leaving him there. I'm sure she is a very nice lady, but I think if you asked any of the really experienced members in this forum (and Wellington is one , of course) what you should do - they would say - Keep Mac with you !!
Angie
 

Meg & Mac

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I can't advise you, but I would say, from what I have learned from the forum and elsewhere, that it is going to be risky having Mac with the females - yes, all may be ok for a while, but it could change at any time - I think, to be honest, it would be unfair on them too, as if he were to get over excited, he could cause serious damage to one or both of them ! You would feel awful if that happened.
Also, as Wellington says, wandering round the house is very unwise.
My personal opinion,especially as Mac is 60 or 70 years old, is that in the long run, he would be much better in his own place, with you and his black plant pots for company. The lady who is looking after him may think he has bonded with one of the females - but tortoises DONT bond like that - read what Wellington wrote earlier - he may well have bonded with you, but that's different. I think Zola has bonded with me, but again, that's different.
As for hibernation,again, he is quite old, and if he hasn't done so before, and the vet advises not to - he might die, because his body would have to cope with a quite different situation.
I do understand how you feel - you want the best for him - but although it is a difficult situation, I honestly feel you would be making a big mistake leaving him there. I'm sure she is a very nice lady, but I think if you asked any of the really experienced members in this forum (and Wellington is one , of course) what you should do - they would say - Keep Mac with you !!
Angie
Thankyou 🙏 I've asked her all the questions I could have thought of. We're gonna go up on Monday, feeling more and more certain that we'll bring him home with us. He would of just had a holiday. Thanks so so much for all your help. It's so good to be able to ask for support on here. Caring for a tortoise is so different to other animals. I feel soooo much more confident now having had all this advice. Xxx
 

zolasmum

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Thankyou 🙏 I've asked her all the questions I could have thought of. We're gonna go up on Monday, feeling more and more certain that we'll bring him home with us. He would of just had a holiday. Thanks so so much for all your help. It's so good to be able to ask for support on here. Caring for a tortoise is so different to other animals. I feel soooo much more confident now having had all this advice. Xxx
I'm very glad that you feel more settled about what would be best for Mac - you are right, caring for a tortoise is very different - there are a lot of variables involved, that need thinking about. He will have had a holiday, as you say- you will have to ask what new foods he has been eating.
One other thing, which I didn't like to mention before, is that you will need to keep an eye on his health - there is always a possibility he could have picked up a bug there which the other tortoises have become immune to over time. I should think it is unlikely, but it can happen.
I hope you will have a happy homecoming on Monday
Angie xx
 

Meg & Mac

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I'm very glad that you feel more settled about what would be best for Mac - you are right, caring for a tortoise is very different - there are a lot of variables involved, that need thinking about. He will have had a holiday, as you say- you will have to ask what new foods he has been eating.
One other thing, which I didn't like to mention before, is that you will need to keep an eye on his health - there is always a possibility he could have picked up a bug there which the other tortoises have become immune to over time. I should think it is unlikely, but it can happen.
I hope you will have a happy homecoming on Monday
Angie xx
Yeah I've got an appointment with our vet tomorrow and was going to ask about getting him checked for bugs or anything he might have picked up. Yeah he's been trying new foods and liking them which is great, will def make a list of those and broaden his salad bar. Looking forward to having him home. Got lots of plans to make his indoor and outdoor enclosures even more exciting. Might even buy him a new love plant pot to celebrate him coming home. Thanks again. Super star x
 

zolasmum

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Yeah I've got an appointment with our vet tomorrow and was going to ask about getting him checked for bugs or anything he might have picked up. Yeah he's been trying new foods and liking them which is great, will def make a list of those and broaden his salad bar. Looking forward to having him home. Got lots of plans to make his indoor and outdoor enclosures even more exciting. Might even buy him a new love plant pot to celebrate him coming home. Thanks again. Super star x
He is a lucky tortoise to have you caring so much for him - even getting him a new plant pot ! Actually, I wonder if he would like a red pot, if you can get one - not brownish red, but proper red - Zola loves red, though he isn't into plant pots really - or maybe it would be too much for Mac at his age ?
Best wishes
Angie xx
 

zolasmum

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Hello Meg - I have been thinking about you, and hoping that you have got Mac safely home today. I am sure he will be pleased to see you, even if he is a bit confused. I am sure he will have a good and happy life with you, and you know there are friends here to help and give advice.
Please let me know how things are going.
Angie xx
 

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