Need Help; tortoise making too much noise!

ashleighnicol

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I have a 5-6? year old leopard tortoise that's been my pet since he could fit in the palm of my hand. Now he/she is about 9 inches in length. The problem is that he has way too much energy and no amount of space seems to be enough to make him happy. Despite the fact that he now has almost full-run of my room (I can't keep him in an enclosure because he flips himself over in a frantic effort to get out) he still bangs, pushes and grinds against any barrier to whatever direction he wants to go in. This has created a problem because I live in an expensive city where I share an apartment and my roommate works from home. My tortoise makes so much noise trying to "escape" that it is disruptive. He always seem "frantic" to get somewhere and just tries to go wherever he's been blockaded out of (I have a wooden dog fence that I use to keep him from going certain places in the apartment. He always has at least a 13 by 1o ft area to roam at all times but still spends all day ramming into things making noise while I'm at work. My roommate has complained about the noise on several occasions and I'm afraid that she may soon ask me to get rid or him or leave (and I can't afford a bigger space right now). I've tried feeding him more (to the point I'm afraid he'll get constipated) and giving him calcium bones to occupy him, however, it just doesn't seem to be enough... Is there any way I can make him happy? Are there "toys" to occupy tortoises? I take him to the local park whenever I get a chance and let him run around, but I obviously can't do that all-day, every-day since I work. Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated.
 

Yvonne G

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See? This is the problem with keeping a wild animal that's meant to live outside in an apartment. It's the exact same thing as trying to keep a cow in an apartment. They belong outside. And you only make it worse by giving him periods of time outside at the park. He now knows there's a world outside his little doggy fence, and he wants to go there.

Tortoises need their own dedicated space, their own territory. You may be able to set him up in a large indoor habitat and have him settle down, but I really doubt it. He's had a taste of outdoors, and he wants it.

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Abdulla6169

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See? This is the problem with keeping a wild animal that's meant to live outside in an apartment. It's the exact same thing as trying to keep a cow in an apartment. They belong outside. And you only make it worse by giving him periods of time outside at the park. He now knows there's a world outside his little doggy fence, and he wants to go there.

Tortoises need their own dedicated space, their own territory. You may be able to set him up in a large indoor habitat and have him settle down, but I really doubt it. He's had a taste of outdoors, and he wants it.

474158gy04azrh2x.gif
Exactly what I wanted to say but better :D listen to Yvonne, she knows best!
 

yillt

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That's sounds quite bad. Maybe decorate his enclosure with real plants and make it bigger. Also add rocks, half-logs, water bowls ,hiding holes and other things. If your cage is glass you need to change that. Also give him loads of attention and tire him out by putting pieces of food really far apart in his enclosure. Good luck.
 

Tom

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Why would letting him eat cause constipation? Try feeding him up on the right foods. This might settle him down a little. Hungry animals are usually more active animals. Here are some suggestions:
Mulberry leaves
Grape vine leaves
Hibiscus leaves
African hibiscus leaves
Blue hibiscus leaves
Rose of Sharon leaves
Rose leaves
Geraniums
Gazanias
Lavatera
Pansies
Petunias
Hostas
Honeysuckle
Cape honeysuckle
Leaves and blooms from any squash plant, like pumpkin, cucumber, summer squash, etc...
Young spineless opuntia cactus pads

Weeds:
There are soooooooo many...
Dandelion
Mallow
Filaree
Smooth Sow thistle
Prickly Sow thistle
Milk thistle
Goat head weed
Cats ear
Nettles
Trefoil
Wild onion
Wild mustard
Wild Garlic
Clovers
Broadleaf plantain
Narrow leaf plantain
Chick weed
Hawksbit
Hensbit
Hawksbeard

Other good stuff:
"Testudo Seed Mix" from http://www.tortoisesupply.com/SeedMixes
Pasture mixes or other seeds from http://www.groworganic.com/seeds.html
Homegrown alfalfa
Mazuri Tortoise Chow
ZooMed Grassland Tortoise Food

Most tortoises will just go park somewhere on a full belly. High fiber foods like weeds and leaves will not cause you any problems.
 

ashleighnicol

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My tortoise is definitely well fed in terms of freshness an variety. He eats catus pads as well as grass I grow in trays (sulcata mix from a tortoise supplier) and fresh plants that I buy from the farmers market (potted flowers /whole plants that I lay on their side and let him "find" in the apartment). He never eats pellets or anything that is not fresh. However, I've read that tortoises can get severely constipated or "impacted' from eating too much if overfed; is this not true?
I re-calculated and determined that he has 380 square feet of space to roam (including his enclosure/"tortoise table" that has doors and is itself 4.75 ft by 3.5 ft handmade of wood). I'm not a millionaire and cannot currently afford more than this where I live (I'd need to clear 200K to afford any private outdoor space). So I guess I'm not wealthy enough to own a tortoise? I love him and he's my only companion (I have no family and I'm allergic to most furry things), but I don't want him to be unhappy.
 

WillTort2

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The only suggestion I can come up with is to improve your and your tortoise's quality of life. Move to the country! :)

Good luck!
 

WillTort2

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One other idea for living in the city with a tortoise would be to have a rooftop garden that is wire covered and tortoise proof.
 

visco

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I really hate to say it but I suppose it all comes down to how much space you have vs. how large your tort is going to grow.. It's not about being wealthy, its about evaluating space and size before bringing your new friend home. A smaller breed would be the best choice for an apartment dweller and would most likely be happier in the smaller confines of an indoor area (if you absolutely have to have it inside). More often than not we have the idea that we can take whatever we want and keep it as an indoor amusement. Animals we find outside are really best kept outside and there really is no changing that, as much as we want otherwise.
 

Yellow Turtle01

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Are you able to have a space where he can live outside?? Maybe a balcony, or a small portion of the roof like @WillTort2 said? Unfortunately, no amount of space is big enough for tortoise who is used to (in the wild) roaming around in every direction without barriers all day.
 

Lemonade

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I'm sorry you're having this problem. I wish I could offer some help, but I am not familiar with Leopards. I always want to keep my turts/torts outside, but I have seen some indoor habitat ideas that seem really creative. Is he full-grown. I wonder if you know anyone with a yard who could do daycare?
 

Tom

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Ash, it sounds like you are doing pretty well. Admittedly, I don't like the idea of letting the tortoise out to run loose in the apartment, but I understand your reasoning. Usually leopards are pretty mild mannered. It seems that you have a wild one and you kept him very healthy and happy, so he isn't content with sitting around in a relatively small indoor space.

I wish I had an easy solution for you, but it seems like this individual tortoise is just not a match for your current living situation. I wonder if you could construct something to contain him that has better sound dampening qualities.
 

Star-of-India

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Maybe it doesn't have enough hides? Most human dwellings have plenty of places, but maybe yours doesn't.
 

Reptilelove

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Is his substrate thick enough? Sometimes if its not thick enough then the tort can reach the bottom of the enclosure and scrape along it
 

LJL1982

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I have a 5-6? year old leopard tortoise that's been my pet since he could fit in the palm of my hand. Now he/she is about 9 inches in length. The problem is that he has way too much energy and no amount of space seems to be enough to make him happy. Despite the fact that he now has almost full-run of my room (I can't keep him in an enclosure because he flips himself over in a frantic effort to get out) he still bangs, pushes and grinds against any barrier to whatever direction he wants to go in. This has created a problem because I live in an expensive city where I share an apartment and my roommate works from home. My tortoise makes so much noise trying to "escape" that it is disruptive. He always seem "frantic" to get somewhere and just tries to go wherever he's been blockaded out of (I have a wooden dog fence that I use to keep him from going certain places in the apartment. He always has at least a 13 by 1o ft area to roam at all times but still spends all day ramming into things making noise while I'm at work. My roommate has complained about the noise on several occasions and I'm afraid that she may soon ask me to get rid or him or leave (and I can't afford a bigger space right now). I've tried feeding him more (to the point I'm afraid he'll get constipated) and giving him calcium bones to occupy him, however, it just doesn't seem to be enough... Is there any way I can make him happy? Are there "toys" to occupy tortoises? I take him to the local park whenever I get a chance and let him run around, but I obviously can't do that all-day, every-day since I work. Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated.
I think this needs to be flipped around. You are focusing on the discomfort it's causing to your flat mate, but not to the tortoise. Any adult tortoise is wild ranging and needs significant space beyond that of a room in a house (unless it's solely given over to him and planted up etc), even so, tortoises benefit from seeing the sky, hearing outdoor noises, and being able to wander and forage.

A tortoise even put in a garden will test its boundaries. This is such an ingrained behaviour that it makes it inappropriate for them to be kept as adults in small indoor spaces.
 

Team Gomberg

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For comparison: my leopard tortoise lives outside with full run of "his" backyard and he STILL paces the boarders, rubs against the walls and wants more. I can hear him scrape the inside of his heated house at night as though he's trying to dig in. His shell is marked up on both sides from pacing the concrete foundation of my house. He knocks things over, moves my outdoor furniture and would be a terror if housed indoors. So, anyone considering keeping a large leopard tortoise indoors, consider the OP's complaint and my guy's history when making your decision.
 
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