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Mixing species

Discussion in 'Debatable Topics' started by Raymo2477, Aug 1, 2015.

  1. mike taylor

    mike taylor Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Some of us have big collections of tortoises . Some have cost us thousands of dollars and many years to get the groups we have thriving. Notice how I said thriving and not surviving. So when new members come here for advice we give them the proper advice. All of us have a bad habit or two . But we try to give good advice . What to look for ,how to setup enclosures,what works best for us in our location,and much other stuff . Mixing species is never a good idea . Tortioses take a while to show signs of sickness . For a beginner to notice their tortoise is sick it maybe to late to save it's life . That's why we tell people not to .
    Tom and Tidgy's Dad like this.
  2. Erik Elvis

    Erik Elvis Active Member

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    See any problem with tortoises of different species but like care that you have raised being allowed to graze together for couple hours while you watch them? I would think it would be good for them to see another tortoise here and there.
  3. Tidgy's Dad

    Tidgy's Dad Well-Known Member

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    Why would it do them good?
    Tortoises are solitary and territorial and would feel threatened by a stranger on their turf. Except for a male who would maybe happily disturb a female in quite another way.
    IMHO tortoises would be quite content if they never saw another tortoise in their whole lifetime.
  4. JoesMum

    JoesMum Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    I agree. Another tortoise is a rival for territory and food. It's not a friend. Putting them together creates unnecessary stress.
    Tidgy's Dad likes this.
  5. Erik Elvis

    Erik Elvis Active Member

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    Well because anxiety or stress is part of life. And that’s assuming all contact it’s stressful... And even if it is maybe it makes day to day life more appreciative. I know they’re not smart but maybe giving them a little natural stress here and there makes them more tolerant in general. I mean they do run across other torts here and there in the wild.
  6. JoesMum

    JoesMum Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    And in the wild they will fight... or one of them will leave the territory claimed by the dominant animal. In captivity, leaving isn't an option. So you either end up with a fight or an animal that is stressed for preventable reasons.

    Yes, stress is natural. Forcing an animal into a stressful situation that they would normally avoid if at all possible is not.
  7. Erik Elvis

    Erik Elvis Active Member

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    Well I’m certainly not saying let them fight.
  8. *debora*

    *debora* Well-Known Member Today is my birthday!

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    Wouldn't you want to live a stress free live if you had the chance? Better for your health.
  9. JoesMum

    JoesMum Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    So why wait until they fight?

    A stressed tortoise becomes withdrawn, doesn’t eat as much, loses weight and becomes sick. It doesn’t need to fight to become stressed. The fact that it is put in a position that it feels it wants to leave, but cannot is enough to cause stress.

    Simple welfare standards dictate that you should never put any creature in this position ... and yet you are advocating it “as long as they don’t actually fight”

    It is no different, in my mind, to making sure they get the correct diet and environment to live in. Sure, they might survive a poor diet or enclosure setup, but that doesn’t make it right to care for them that way.

    If you put the best interests of the animals first then you don’t stress them any more than is necessary ... which means keep them separate.

    And now I feel you are arguing for arguments sake... I and others with decades of tortoise keeping experience have made our positions clear and I do not propose to continue to debate it.
  10. Erik Elvis

    Erik Elvis Active Member

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    I don’t know. I’m looking at it from a human perspective. I mean if you really have no idea what’s bad do you really know what’s good. That’s why this is a debatable topic. Like sickness if your raised in a bubble and realeased into the real population is it good for you.
  11. Erik Elvis

    Erik Elvis Active Member

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    See your just pushing the cohabitation argument. I’m not saying to do that. Just let them mingle couple hours (supervised) here and there
  12. *debora*

    *debora* Well-Known Member Today is my birthday!

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    Sorry mixed up live and life.
  13. Erik Elvis

    Erik Elvis Active Member

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    Animal exposed to natural controlled stress here and there will be able to better real stress that you can’t control.
    MyersTortoise likes this.
  14. Erik Elvis

    Erik Elvis Active Member

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    Anyone will tell you a sheltered child will have more trouble in the real world.
  15. *debora*

    *debora* Well-Known Member Today is my birthday!

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    Now you are comparing children with tortoises to make your choice acceptable. For who? No one can tell you what to do. Only make you think about it before you do it. It still would be your choice what so ever.
  16. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    I don't think you are a horrible human, I think you are taking a large risk with absolutely no benefit.

    On the bright side, if one or all of your animals get sick and die, you will already know why, and you won't have to spend a bunch of money on diagnostic testing or necropsy with your vet.
  17. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    And there is the most common problem I encounter every single day in my job. Animals aren't humans. They don't have our capacity for reason and logic. While some animals are social, like us, many species, like our tortoises, are not social. They don't want or need interaction with others of their kind. Breeding for many animal species is essentially rape. Ever watched russians courting and breeding? Or blue tongue skinks, or monitors? Its brutal and the female usually walks away bleeding and scarred, heck sometimes the males are torn up too.

    In the wild every surviving tortoise from that region has been exposed to all the same disease organisms and parasites, and because they are still alive and well, we can assume that they have the ability to survive those particular pathogens and parasites. Mix those tortoises with other tortoises from other regions, or other continents and the result is frequently a fatal biological soup.


    Expose a child to some stress and some potential pathogens and they develop coping skills and disease resistance. Expose them to too much of either and they get sick or die. Expose them to the wrong foreign pathogen that they have no resistance to and they die.

    The debate here is how much stress and what kind of stress is "good" for them, and how much or what kind is to much and bad.

    Likewise, limited exposure to everyday bacteria and pathogens is one thing, while exposure to tortoise specific pathogens from other parts of the world is an entirely different thing.
  18. Bambam1989

    Bambam1989 Well-Known Member

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    Wow I love a good friendly debate.
    Tom beat me to one of the comments that I was going to make. Tortoises are not people- we are social creatures where they are solitary and so the comparison is stretching a bit.
    I do believe that some stress is good but not the kind that is going to cause actual anxiety. Provide a different kind of stress maybe. Like emphasizing the search for food by stashing it in different areas of the enclosure. Or taking them for strolls in new(but safe) areas so they are exploring. I guess I am describing more of an enrichment..
  19. Tidgy's Dad

    Tidgy's Dad Well-Known Member

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    Tortoises are prey animals. They scare easily. They suffer from a certain amount of stress whenever a shadow falls over them.
    But our tortoises are not kept in natural environments, if you have safe, secure, indoor and outdoor enclosures for them the stress will be kept to a minimum. i am not going to play Halloween tricks on my tortoises to see how they react or in the hope that it somehow makes them stronger.
    if your tortoise is not in danger why make it feel as though it might be?
    Our tortoises will never experience their natural environment, thank goodness, so give it a content, stress free existence. It will still get scared enough in day to day life, but popping balloons to make it jump seems pretty silly to me.
    Allow your tortoise a good life, people. :):<3::tort:
  20. Erik Elvis

    Erik Elvis Active Member

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    Thanks for the replies guys. I’m just curious. I watch “kamp kenan” on you tube and he keeps some black mountain tortoises and elongateds together. I know it depends on the species general personality. You also see people with Galapagos and Aldabra torts with each other. I’m not saying keeping something like an eastern box with a red foot.

    And for prey animals torts do warm up to humans. I’m thinking mainly because they’re food obsessed and associate you with it.
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