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New forstenii pair

Discussion in 'Elongated and Forsten's tortoises' started by Turtlepete, Jul 15, 2014.

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  1. Turtlepete

    Turtlepete Well-Known Member

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    Well, I've been getting talked into getting into forstenii for a year now. I was able to rehome 8 rescues last week, so I finally caved in and got a pair. I couldn't be more happy with that decision. I ended up with a pair of roughly 7" gorgeous forstenii this morning. Depending on how these guys do in the next couple weeks, I may get a couple more younger juveniles to have a larger group.

    Here is the male

    [​IMG]

    And the female

    [​IMG]

    What surprised me about these is that they both had split scutes....Seems rather odd to me. They are doing okay so far. The male was taking papaya and tomatoes as soon as I brought him home. The female has been a bit more timid, but came out of her shell a bit when she was put outside in the sunlight. Haven't seen her take food yet, but it's still their first day.

    Any advice anyone who keeps these has is greatly appreciated [​IMG]. I'm so excited to finally be able to work with this species.
    FLINTUS likes this.
  2. bouaboua

    bouaboua Well-Known Member 5 Year Member Platinum Tortoise Club Tortoise Club

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    Beautiful pair. Congrats for the new addition.
  3. sibi

    sibi Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Wow, they are really beautiful! We hope to see more of them...
  4. Benjamin

    Benjamin Active Member 5 Year Member

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    I would advise you not house them together. Especially with the female being shy and not feeding much.
  5. Benjamin

    Benjamin Active Member 5 Year Member

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    And I have a number of males with split scutes, not so weird really.
  6. Turtlepete

    Turtlepete Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Ben. I've been told that by another as well. Any other advise? Are there any foods in particular you know of that get them feeding?
    Today the female is a lot more active, exploring her temporary enclosure quite a lot. She still hasn't looked at food much. Hard to say if she has eaten anything or not. So her shy part is fixed, but hasn't taken food yet. Only the second day though. The male on the other hand has eaten a couple of times. Papaya and tomatoes are a definite favorite.

    So, do you house all forstenii individually and only introduce them for breeding? Or do you allow them to be together once they are acclimated?
  7. tortadise

    tortadise Well-Known Member Moderator 5 Year Member

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    Awesome. Good luck with them. These here really like watermelon leaves and squash leaves. Favorite is oyster mushrooms and hibiscus flowers. Also frozen crickets they like.
  8. Turtlepete

    Turtlepete Well-Known Member

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    I've tried just about everything with the female I can think of. Watermelon, cantaloupe, mango, peaches, papaya, strawberries, banana, greens (didn't expect her to touch that really), mushrooms, baked sweet potatoe.....I even tried some meat foods like boiled fish, shrimp and cooked ground turkey, just to see of any of those smelly foods would get her interested.
    Her response was to "dig" in the plate, pushing every bit of food off the plate and into the mulch. And then sit on it. She looked very pleased with herself last I checked on her. Lol.
    I've yet to try hibiscus flowers. I'll give it a shot.
    I'm not to worried yet though, because as I said she's been quite active today, and a lot less shy or timid. It's like she's foraging around for food, she just hasn't found what she's looking for yet.
  9. Anthony P

    Anthony P Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Think she needs to have a fecal done? I'm sure they're not CB...

    I'm really happy to see you working with these tortoises though, Pete! Very happy for you.
  10. Benjamin

    Benjamin Active Member 5 Year Member

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    I agree with Anthony regarding a fecal exam. WC forstenii often have heavy burdens of ameoba&protozoa. Especially with the female being hyperactive and not feeding she could crash quickly. The food items you've offered are right on although I offer raw shrimp not cooked. Doubtful that would matter so much and try yellow squash if you haven't yet.
  11. Turtlepete

    Turtlepete Well-Known Member

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    Thanks guys. She took a small bite of something so far today, but not much. I know she was eating at the last location she was at, the importers facility. I'll try another dozen foods today. Thinking maybe baked mushrooms, since they give off quite an odor. The only thing she has shown interest in really is smelly, meaty foods. I finally caved and just decided to try giving her moistened cat food, and she took a bite of that. Might try raw chicken as well....I read on here somewhere of offering forstenii imports dead rats or mice, as it would resemble carrion they would encounter in the wild. Anyone ever tried that?
    Maybe I'll pick up some more interesting food items at the store. The shrooms I tried were just regular white button, I might try some oyster or shi'take and see if it makes a difference.
  12. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Tortoise Club

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    Is there any chance you can find out what types of foods she was eating at the importers?

    [​IMG]
  13. Turtlepete

    Turtlepete Well-Known Member

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    Tomatoes and papayas. Both of which the male loves but the female didn't' really seem to have any interest in.

    Well, I guess these guys are nocturnal? I was watching their cage like a hawk around sunset hoping they would come out and eat...Nothing. This morning, most of the food I left in there was gone. So either they are nocturnal, or just get up a lot earlier then me :).
  14. tortadise

    tortadise Well-Known Member Moderator 5 Year Member

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    Elongata and forstenii are both crepuscular. Active during twilight hours. Dusk/dawn. With a lot of imports I offer food at sundown when I'm checking everyone and closing them down for the evening. This is when I leave food out for imported animals. I notice the following morning if any had been touched. Usually it's gone or nibbled on. I started my WC pair in my greenhouse. I placed them in a rather dark area that received some sun shine during morning hours only. They adjusted rather quickly. I had them outside after a couple months. Offer lots of hides too. I get the 5-15 gallon pots that plants come in from nurseries cut them in half(makes two hides from one pot) and use those for hides. They're very cheap. Most nurseries will either sell them to you for a buck or 2 or just give them to you. Try that. The bigger the better because they can retreat further into them. Your 7" guys, you may want to go with a 35-45 gallon pot.
  15. Turtlepete

    Turtlepete Well-Known Member

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    Interesting. The reds are usually active later in the day, but they shut down when it gets dark. Where the forstenii are currently is mostly shade. I'm setting up their 20x8 enclosure that should be finished by the weekend or Monday hopefully. I picked a spot that is mostly shady but receives a couple patches of sunlight here and there.

    I actually have a couple things that would work for that that I'm planning on using...Not sure what they are called. You know the big black plastic tubes they use for drainage along the side of the roads? I have a couple of those of varying lengths. I'm planning to use two of them in their enclosure, as they go deep enough. Probably bury them halfway, since they are about 18" wide. I have several thousand pots in the shed to choose from so I'll put a couple of those around to.

    Any plants in specific you use with these guys? I want it to be well-planted enough so they feel secure to wander around. There will be lots of hibiscus of course. Just not sure what else I'm going to put in there.
  16. tortadise

    tortadise Well-Known Member Moderator 5 Year Member

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    Awesome. HDPE pipe is what that is called. That will work great. I use boston ferns and cane plants. They ate all of the elephant ear I had in the greenhouse enclosure for them. But now being outside they just wait for the (food delivery) they do like the ferns though a lot to hide under. My Kinixys erosa eat them but haven't seen this species eat it yet. They probably won't.
  17. Turtlepete

    Turtlepete Well-Known Member

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    Ah. I picked some of it up a while ago because they were just throwing the trimmed pieces out. Shame to let something so useful go to waste :).

    Thanks for the suggestions. I have about a dozen nurseries around me so I should be able to find good plants. So here is another question...I ALWAYS hear elephant ears are toxic to anything but I thought manouria? Is there a specific species of elephant ear that isn't toxic? Colocasia or Alocasia?
  18. tortadise

    tortadise Well-Known Member Moderator 5 Year Member

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    I have found all the asiatic species even turtles like the allocation and collocasia, Pothos, and elephant ear. I don't have the Tara Asian kind though. I have Bolivian giant elephant ear. Not sure if they differ much. But I figure if they eat lots it then so be it. But it's usually just a plant or a leaf dangling into the enclosure. So it's not like I offer it daily to them or anything. For sure Manouria no issues. But not too certain with indotestudo. I know mine eat it, and never seen issues. Same with bamboo. They like fresh shoots off a growing stock. But will only nibble on it, and not really devour it.
  19. pam

    pam Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    They are beautiful
  20. Benjamin

    Benjamin Active Member 5 Year Member

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    What about those fecal exams..? Good husbandry doesn't heel an ill tortoise.
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