New - Advice Choosing a Species

JuliaB

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Aug 8, 2019
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DeLand, Florida
Hello TortoiseForum family! I'm so happy to have joined this group! I've been reading as much as I can on here in the hopes of being a good tort mom in the near future.

At this point, I need to make a final decision on which species of tortoise to choose. I live in central Florida and my ultimate goal once tortoise is grown up will be for it to have an outdoor enclosure full time. I'm attracted to larger species but realistically think that the largest I feel comfortable affording and caring for is a Leopard Tortoise. This is currently my top choice. I'm doing research on building an enclosed indoor enclosure for a juvenile until it is old enough to move outside.

So the conflict - I'm in love with just about every species I read about. And man, what a life long commitment, I really want to feel comfortable with my choice and I currently am still not. Here are my main preferences:
1. Personable, friendly - I want a tortoise who will run on over to eat and enjoy shell rubs.
2. Preferably want to avoid brumation - I want a year round buddy
3. Could be kept year round outside as an adult in Florida - would of course provide heated house as needed

A fun and outgoing personality is everything to me. And of course I know that personality is the biggest gamble! I'd be happy adopting torts that already have personalities developed but have struggled to find that situation.

I've been attracted to leopards and hermanns primarily but am open minded to suggestions. Sulcata and larger just won't work for me.

I appreciate your thoughts and experience! What is my best chance at an outgoing friendly tortoise?
 

xMario

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I think u won't go wrong with a leopard tortoise [emoji106][emoji217]
 

JuliaB

New Member
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Aug 8, 2019
Messages
9
Location (City and/or State)
DeLand, Florida
Thank you for your suggestions guys! I'll continue looking into Leopards and Red Foots
Seems like Hermann isn't the best for my concerns then?
 

Ray--Opo

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Welcome and good luck on your decision.
When you finally decide post your decision.
Members here can guide you to the best breeders.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
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Regular leopards tend to be shy. However, regular leopards tend to be mixes, so not all of them are shy. South African leopards are a lot less shy in general and get a little bit bigger. They would do fine outdoors year round in your climate with a heated night box. Neither type of leopard get large and destructive like a sulcata. Given your personality requirements, I would skip the leopards unless you want to get a South African. Let's see if we can get @Jenna kamenski to share here experiences with her SA leopard, "Torque".

Sulcatas have great personalities, but they do get huge and destructive. I can understand why you've decided against that species, and I applaud your decision, even though I think the species is wonderful.

Eastern Hermann tortoises are gorgeous, tend to be personable, and I think they'd do fine in your climate too. You don't have to hibernate them, but you can if you want to. Their smaller size makes them much easier to house, feed and care for. This would be a great choice.

All things considered, I think a redfoot meets all of your criteria the best. I rate them a close second to sulcatas in personality, but many people like their personality even better than sulcatas. They are up year round and thrive with high humidity. Easy to feed. Not too large or destructive. Like all tortoises, they will need a heated box for winter, but as adults, they can love outside full time where you are.

Good luck choosing! :)
 

Jenna kamenski

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Dec 27, 2017
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My experiences with torque have been wonderful! Torque is full of personality and is very smart - we swear he/she understands certain things that we say lol...isn’t shy at all but sometimes torque gets in moods where he doesn’t want to be bothered, kinda like us humans haha...torque will let me hand feed with no problem and he/she is very smart with that, if he’s not too excited and realizes my fingers are close to his mouth he will slow down and be careful not to nip me - I know this might sound crazy but I think I have torque potty trained to a certain extent...torque won’t poo at all in the enclosure anymore - will pee if he has to go but as far as poo goes he hasn’t done that in forever, will either do it in the soak or wait for me to hold him over the sink or the toilet

torque is very sweet, will let me give him kisses and has never tried to bite me, [and yes from what I hear it is possible to get salmonella from tortoises and turtles but I haven’t had any issues at all with that] torque is very patient for the most part and hardly ever tries to hide in his shell

at first it was kinda hard to get used to having torque but now it all comes naturally and is easy...having torque has been awesome and has been fun watching how fast he’s grown - torque is over a year and a half and is almost 7lbs....I have enjoyed having torque very much and wouldn’t trade it for anything :) I’ve even had quite a few people tell me how beautiful his markings are and ask if torque is for sale lol but yeah - I love having a leopard, has definitely been awesome! If you have any questions just let me know! :)
 

Sleppo

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Jun 28, 2018
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413
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Philadelphia, PA
My experiences with torque have been wonderful! Torque is full of personality and is very smart - we swear he/she understands certain things that we say lol...isn’t shy at all but sometimes torque gets in moods where he doesn’t want to be bothered, kinda like us humans haha...torque will let me hand feed with no problem and he/she is very smart with that, if he’s not too excited and realizes my fingers are close to his mouth he will slow down and be careful not to nip me - I know this might sound crazy but I think I have torque potty trained to a certain extent...torque won’t poo at all in the enclosure anymore - will pee if he has to go but as far as poo goes he hasn’t done that in forever, will either do it in the soak or wait for me to hold him over the sink or the toilet

torque is very sweet, will let me give him kisses and has never tried to bite me, [and yes from what I hear it is possible to get salmonella from tortoises and turtles but I haven’t had any issues at all with that] torque is very patient for the most part and hardly ever tries to hide in his shell

at first it was kinda hard to get used to having torque but now it all comes naturally and is easy...having torque has been awesome and has been fun watching how fast he’s grown - torque is over a year and a half and is almost 7lbs....I have enjoyed having torque very much and wouldn’t trade it for anything :) I’ve even had quite a few people tell me how beautiful his markings are and ask if torque is for sale lol but yeah - I love having a leopard, has definitely been awesome! If you have any questions just let me know! :)

Torque is a great tort name!
 

DebQue

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Joined
Jan 29, 2019
Messages
9
Location (City and/or State)
Texas
It sounds like you are months ahead of me(jealous) but I have also decided on a SA Leopard!! I inquired earlier this year and from what I remember Tom?? Will have babies available in October or November !!! Can’t wait. I live in the Texas Hill Country and would like a year round outdoor enclosure (when he/she is old enough)
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
10 Year Member!
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Jan 9, 2010
Messages
63,640
Location (City and/or State)
Southern California
It sounds like you are months ahead of me(jealous) but I have also decided on a SA Leopard!! I inquired earlier this year and from what I remember Tom?? Will have babies available in October or November !!! Can’t wait. I live in the Texas Hill Country and would like a year round outdoor enclosure (when he/she is old enough)
Correct. They hatch out of the ground in late September to early October. I like to give them some time to get well started eating and used to the daily soaking routine before I sell them.
 

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