1. Welcome! Are you interested in tortoises? If so, we invite you to join our community! Our community is the #1 place for tortoise keepers to talk online. Once you join you'll be able to post messages, upload pictures of your tortoise and enclosure, and discuss any tortoise topic with other tortoise keepers. Get started today!

New project for Kapidolo Farms, erosa.

Discussion in 'Hingeback tortoises' started by Will, Apr 16, 2017.

  1. Will

    Will Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2012
    Messages:
    3,797
    Likes Received:
    2,548
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    South of Southern California, but not Mexico
    Had a small group many years ago. This is a nice jump back into them group.

    1492371324467.jpg
    JThompson, bouaboua, Kasia and 2 others like this.
  2. Yvonne G

    Yvonne G Old Timer TFO Admin 10 Year Member! Platinum Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2008
    Messages:
    73,538
    Likes Received:
    34,335
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Clovis, CA
    (These ads do not appear for registered members.)
    That's an awfully crowded space, Will. :rolleyes:
  3. Will

    Will Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2012
    Messages:
    3,797
    Likes Received:
    2,548
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    South of Southern California, but not Mexico
    About as crowded as you sitting in the cab of your truck with me in the passenger seat. It's a transport container.

    They have all been placed as twos, threes, or for smaller ones, four per 2' x 4' enclosures. As more enclosures come on line they will be placed in ones and twos. Right now each enclosure has a three gallon water dish, plumbed for quick change. I'll post some images about that in my LNP thread.

    HMMM what could LNP thread be??
  4. Will

    Will Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2012
    Messages:
    3,797
    Likes Received:
    2,548
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    South of Southern California, but not Mexico
    They ate well as groups, which is a far distance from knowing that each individual ate. First day was a total of two bananas, about a pound of papaya, an older mushroomy smelling sweet potato, mushrooms, zucchini, and chopped up romaine butts. Second day, today, I doubled the mushrooms and added Bok Choy greens and stalk, and the 'base mix' for everyone else. No poops in the water as of this morning. By the weekend I will get the tops on, and lighting in.

    As I removed them from the transport bin I weighed each one and photographed it with a sharpie pen number. The distinction of each individual will be easy for the tether holes and pattern on the shells. Towards the end of may I will reweigh and see what we got. If anyone looks iffy along the way, they will get their own smaller enclosure with a wider range of foods if not tubed with babyfood/ground tortoise food.

    I really don't want to do that though, oral gavage with these guys is murder on the hands. The way their shells are they can pull the tip of their nose a full 1/3 back behind the from margin of the shell.
    bouaboua, TammyJ and Anyfoot like this.
  5. wellington

    wellington Well-Known Member Moderator 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2011
    Messages:
    35,144
    Likes Received:
    11,326
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois, USA
    Wow, now that's starting out big. Did you get them from one person selling their group of from several different people? I'm assuming from one person seeing they are all together. Good luck.
    Will likes this.
  6. Will

    Will Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2012
    Messages:
    3,797
    Likes Received:
    2,548
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    South of Southern California, but not Mexico

    Hi Barb, A single source from a single import event. Pretty ideal is some ways. No multiple collection disease crossover concerns, though quarantine is still a thing to do, it's less worrisome than establishing several animals from several collections. They were all also imported at once so the odds are they are from one part of the range and more genetically cohesive. That they all have tether holes to me is a plus. I don't like that they are scared, but this also means they were already taken out of the mix of a wild population, and were in semi-captivity in Africa. They are the winners of that selection event.

    I feel really lucky to have had this chance to jump back into this species. @tortadise hooked me up with the studbook keeper and I hope they will be more willing to act cooperatively with me as a private keeper, remember Kelly is an NGO. I'll wait till I feel they are all moving forward with my husbandry and seek that collaboration.

    I really good looking K. erosa is an overall really good looking tortoise. I find some people cringe with a common name like 'hinge back', maybe its sound like a disability? Anyhow they are a really interesting group of tortoises that right now are sorta not so expensive to build a large group of. Kelly posted some images of really killer attractive animals quite awhile ago.

    So far several are eating quite a range of things daily, now two days, so that is really good to see. But I have them in small groups and it is clear some try to dominate the food plate. I will have to offer multiple food plates until I can house them each as individuals.
    bouaboua, TammyJ and wellington like this.
  7. wellington

    wellington Well-Known Member Moderator 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2011
    Messages:
    35,144
    Likes Received:
    11,326
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois, USA
    Wow, that's really cool. So happy for you. Will be looking forward to updates and progress.
    Will likes this.
  8. juli11

    juli11 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2013
    Messages:
    1,359
    Likes Received:
    750
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Europe
    Interesting will. I think you should send me some of them so that you haven't got so much work :D ;)
    Will likes this.
  9. Will

    Will Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2012
    Messages:
    3,797
    Likes Received:
    2,548
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    South of Southern California, but not Mexico
    Okay. Well when some neonates appear, maybe by then Trump will withdraw the US from CITES and I can have an easier time of it. LOL.
    Anyfoot and keepergale like this.
  10. juli11

    juli11 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2013
    Messages:
    1,359
    Likes Received:
    750
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Europe
    Haha :D ok we keep that in mind
    Will likes this.
  11. Anyfoot

    Anyfoot Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2014
    Messages:
    6,003
    Likes Received:
    4,906
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    UK Sheffield
    I thought we would have seen one of these cleaned up by now Will. I think this species has one the best looking Carapaces of all.
    Will likes this.
  12. Will

    Will Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2012
    Messages:
    3,797
    Likes Received:
    2,548
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    South of Southern California, but not Mexico
    I'm letting them have no interruption to their day other than offering fresh food and removal of old. I have now seen all of them eat at least once, a red Sharpie dot on the carapace to indicate such. Otherwise hands off. I want to see if I can prompt eggs as early as within one year.

    My first K. erosa came from an elephant keeper at the San Francisco Zoo, two males. That was 1990, I think. Then a female from a dealer from the Bronx a year later. All adults and more or less doing well. That female took about a month to get to eat on her own. Oral Gavage on these guys is as bad as it can be with any chelonian, IMO worse than American box turtles.

    Any how, once she started eating she gained much weight and promptly laid eggs. She hadn't been with my males yet. Then after they had time together she laid more eggs, but I had no incubator. I built one, but no success. One of those males ate a peach and gagged to death on the pit, as best as I could tell after finding him dead. The female got lost in transit when I moved to Philadelphia, and the other male died, when I inappropriately co housed him with a female K. belliana that was actually much bigger.

    So no glamour shots. I find myself very fortunate to have stumbled onto this opportunity and these guys will be accommodated to the best that I can provide. Maybe some movies or still that don't require my fooling with them directly will pop up.
    Anyfoot likes this.
  13. TammyJ

    TammyJ Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2016
    Messages:
    1,435
    Likes Received:
    869
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Jamaica
    The holes that are drilled in their shells? Can you tell me more about that?
    Will likes this.
  14. Will

    Will Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2012
    Messages:
    3,797
    Likes Received:
    2,548
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    South of Southern California, but not Mexico
    Yeah, its ends up being a good thing for a few reasons.

    "local" people who encounter a tortoise as they go about other activities in the forest drill a hole in the shell and tether the tortoise near home so they can have it as a pet of sorts until they get hungry to eat it or an accumulator comes along and buys it. There is some speculation in that but it is how field biologist who have been to the part of Africa where this species comes from report the situation.

    Why that's good for me in my point of view.
    1 acclimation to people and 'captivity happened in the place where they are accustomed to essentially everything else, temp, humidity, thing to eat etc.
    2 they were already taken out of the local gene pool so they do not represent a specific harvest for the pet market effort.
    3(my assumption) They were all imported at once and came to me through one intermediary, so the quarantine will be more straight forward.

    I know some people see that as a horrible thing, but as it goes for these particular individuals it's a good thing. If/when I get reproduction and maintain their hereditary history they will no longer be functionally dead to their species. That is beautiful even if the shells are a little messed up.
    bouaboua likes this.
  15. bouaboua

    bouaboua Well-Known Member TFO Supporter Platinum Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2013
    Messages:
    11,483
    Likes Received:
    7,103
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    San Jose CA
    WOW! ! !!

    Very nice group you get. Wish to come for a visit one day! ! !
    Will likes this.
  16. Anyfoot

    Anyfoot Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2014
    Messages:
    6,003
    Likes Received:
    4,906
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    UK Sheffield
    Will. Have clarified that these are all Erosa yet?
  17. Will

    Will Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2012
    Messages:
    3,797
    Likes Received:
    2,548
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    South of Southern California, but not Mexico
    Yeah, I find them all to be K. erosa. All are eating much and showing some weight gain. I have also had time enough to watch them for several periods of ten to 20 minutes. These will very carefully selectively eat mushrooms out of a highly mixed ration of squashes, sweet potato, banana, papaya, cucumber, etc. The only time they ate without an mushroom preference is when I've used cat food mixed in with the total mix of everything else. I bought a bag of dehydrated shiitake mushrooms (good economy) and they will still pick out the re-hydrated bits of mushroom. At one time I thought papaya was the all time favorite, no, it's mushrooms.

    I forgot how 'high stepping' they are as they walk around. They do not shimmy along. It looks like some kind of SciFi armored vehicle - they stand up high on their legs and feet and walk very robot like.

    There enclosure stays in the 90% plus RH range and temps go from mid 70'sF to low 90'sF. They prefer the lower range in terms of feeding as a temp response. I have one 24 watt T5 HO tube in their enclosure to one end and they don't seem to seek it out, but don't shy away from the light either.

    Enclosure foot print is 2 x 4 foot with the lighted end having a water dish that is 16 x 23 inches. I put food in on the cypress mulch substrate with really heavy duty paper plates. So they eat about a cup of food (loosely packed) a day each. I used micro-waved eggs a few times as well as cat food. They ate it, but still not like the desire for mushrooms.

    I gave them all heads of romaine cut length wise for a day away overabundance. Two groups ate it all, two groups did not touch it at all. Whole yellow zucchini was devoured. They ate whole small Bok Choy as well. All the forest species seem to really like Bok Choy.
    Anyfoot likes this.
  18. Anyfoot

    Anyfoot Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2014
    Messages:
    6,003
    Likes Received:
    4,906
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    UK Sheffield
    Your observations are virtually exactly what I'm seeing with the homeana.
    Have you tried any large earthworms or slugs yet?
    I'm going to see if I can get hold of some bok choy, never seen it over here.
    Papaya, banana and mango seem to be a favorite too. But I agree, mushrooms are number one on the none protein list.
    Will likes this.
  19. MichaelaW

    MichaelaW Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2015
    Messages:
    679
    Likes Received:
    526
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Harlingen, TX
    Do you plan to send in fecals or cloacal swabs for testing?
  20. Will

    Will Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2012
    Messages:
    3,797
    Likes Received:
    2,548
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    South of Southern California, but not Mexico
    Testing for what?

    As I can bring more housing on-line I will break them out into ever smaller groups and eventually house them all individually. Then they will have dates. In the intervening time they are all eating and defecating well. If they have something treatable, it can be treated at any time, if they have something not treatable then they are doomed either way.

    If they have a worm load it is in equilibrium with there day to day, no feces has produced visible worms. I have no doubt they have amoebas, they are wild caught tropical tortoises.

    The previous owner ran them through a course of both Metronidazole and fenbendazole.

    I am focused on weight gain and establishment right now.

    @Anyfoot they have eaten those big white beetle larvae and snails.
    Anyfoot likes this.

Share This Page