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My first Leo called Geo (Import stress?)

Discussion in 'Leopard tortoises' started by TheKB, May 15, 2019.

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  1. TheKB

    TheKB New Member

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    Got my first Leopard today, having owned Tunisian tortoise for 20 years. I have 1m x 2m self made enclosure with a tarp on it to keep it humid and warm. I also have read the stickie threads multiple times by now. Temperatures in the enclosure are 24.5-30°C in the cool side and 33-39 °C in the warm side. The humidity fluctuates from 86% to 66% around the enclosure.

    According to the EU document the turtle was born in captivity in Kenya and was born between 2015-2017, likely the latter. The same document was used to import 50 specimens from Kenya to Germany in February this year. From Germany it was then sent to me to Finland in about a week long transport.
    When I got it the heatpads had already extinguished and the turtle wasn't warm to touch, but was active and looked healthy all around.
    Nails weren't long, beak is in line, no audible breathing sounds, dry nose (no fluids or bubbles), bright eyes, clean tail and so on. Turtle was in a plastic box with sawdust and few dry pieces of grass.

    Transport.jpg

    She is 11cm long and weights 301g and the importer said the age to be close to 3 years, but no birth date was specified.

    Soak.jpg
    I soaked (what I assume to be) her in warm water for 30 minutes changing the water every 10 minutes to warmer water. She didn't care for the water and struggled immediately when dipped in the water and kept trying to walk through the opaque wall of the bucket the entire soak. She didn't urinate or poo in the water and didn't stop to drink it like my other turtle had.

    I chopped some dandelion leaves, full flowers and fresh grass and moved her inside the enclosure. She began to explore the place but didn't even stop to sniff the food. She completely ignored it and only stopped to soak some warmth in from the lamp.

    Geo.jpg

    When she got to the damp bark and coconut husk substate she turned around and kept staying in the dry areas. I moved her in the cooler damp side after a while and she climbed on top of the hide cave I made for her and sniffed the grass I had planted next to the hide but didn't take a bite.

    Hide.jpg

    I moved her down to the soil and moved the rocks around so that she wouldn't be able to climb back on top of the hide anymore so that she doesn't hurt herself.
    She dug herself in a hole left by a rock I moved and she slept there for 15 to 30 minutes. She was looking around for a bit and then raced back to the warm side of the enclosure and started basking next to her food in 33°C face to wall where she was looking sideways at me through the plexiglass.

    Few hours later I soaked her again in hopes that she would poop and drink but no luck. I tried offering her dandelion flower (my previous Tortoise LOVED dandelions and would race across the yard to eat the flowers) and some weeds but she didn't care for them and headed to long grass to hide. I also tried to see if the redness of a tomato would make her eat but she didn't care for anything.

    Sleepy.jpg

    I assume she is stressed from the journey so I turned the lights off and left her to sleep in the enclosure. There she is now, sleeping on the warm rock floor in the warm side. I put my hoodie to cover the plexi glass so that she isn't startled by me moving next to the enclosure. Like I said earlier, there is no sign of lung infection or sickness at this moment, but the travel box was indeed cold when I got her. She is currently very strong and active. I assume she is not eating because she is stressed from the travel.

    What do you think?
  2. dmmj

    dmmj The member formerly known as captain awesome Moderator

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    Give your tortoise some time to adjust. Offer food daily.
  3. Maro2Bear

    Maro2Bear Well-Known Member

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    Definitely give your new tort a lot of time to settle in and figure things out. New enclosure, hide, conditions, etc. Dsily soaks, offer fresh food, but don’t handle too much (other than soaking). Needs time to explore and make sure it’s safe. Eating can wait.

    Good luck.
  4. Ben02

    Ben02 Well-Known Member

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    I agree with the daily soaks, they can do wonders.
  5. TheKB

    TheKB New Member

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    Thanks, that was the plan of action I was thinking as well. Leave her to adjust and offer fresh food and soaking every morning. I'll check the weight as well after soaking to see if she is drinking or withering.
    From what I read online it could take as much as a week for her to adjust and start eating. I didn't experience this with my previous tortoise - she didn't care if I changed the look of the enclosure completely, but was only bit more shy after long time living in the outside enclosure during the short summers we get here.
  6. Maro2Bear

    Maro2Bear Well-Known Member

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    I think id skip the daily weigh-ins: once/week is good. During this break-in period, you want to minimize all extra handling, provide a good daily soak, ensure there is fresh food, proper temps, etc.
    TheKB likes this.
  7. samkerns1

    samkerns1 Member

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    She has lovely coloration. I hope she begins to thrive while in your care and that you share photos as she grows.
  8. TheKB

    TheKB New Member

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    This morning I moved stuff in the cool side while she was soaking to provide more cover for her to hide behind. It was bit too open previously and she didn't feel comfortable visiting the cool side. She had slept the last two nights in the cave entrance leading to the warm side not daring to enter the cool side. She explored the new cool side after soaking and had a long nap next to the grass plant.

    eatings.jpg

    But the good news is that I caught her eating today. She stopped the moment I stepped in the room but continued after I had sat there for a while facing away from her. Surprisingly to me she went for the grass mostly and only nibbled on the flowers. Sure enough the food crisis is over.
    Maro2Bear likes this.
  9. Tom

    Tom The Dog Trainer 5 Year Member

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    What a long journey. Wow.

    Leopards are prone to respiratory disease, especially when stressed. The old imports here frequently got sick. I would not let the ambient temp anywhere in the enclosure drop below 29-30 day or night, especially with the humidity. At least for the next couple of weeks. The warmer temps will also stimulate the appetite.
    TheKB likes this.
  10. jsheffield

    jsheffield Well-Known Member Platinum Tortoise Club

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    Good looking tort!

    I think continue the soaks, keep offering food, maintain temp and humidity... my limited experience suggests that they'll settle down after they get used to the change.

    Jamie
  11. TheKB

    TheKB New Member

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    She still likes to sleep in the 33-36°C zone during nights, but she seems more comfortable in the enclosure now. I've listened to her breathing every time before soaking to hear if she develops respiratory disease.
    Today after the soak she went straight for the food before heading to the basking area.
    Geo01a.gif
    Eat my piggy.
    Cheryl Hills and katieandiggy like this.

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