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Mortoise the Tortoise

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I am new to this whole online forum use, but I haven't had any luck researching online for answers so I figured maybe I could get some help here.

I have a tortoise who is housed outdoors in my back yard. I have had this tortoise for about 25 years and it is a beloved family member. I live in California on the central coast about 2 miles from the beach. My dad had originally found this tortoise crossing the road in a state park of a near by town just under 10 miles away. He brought it home when I was a very young child to keep as a pet, although that isn't usually encouraged, these tortoises are not at all native to the area and was most likely a lost pet of some one else. It grew comfortable to its new home with us, and we were more than happy to have a new addition to our family.

However, I still have no idea what species of tortoise I own! So that is my question I haven't been able to find the answer to. What kind of tortoise do I have?
I would say it is approx. 20 lbs and I can only assume it is full grown as it has not grown in size as long as we have owned it. Its shell is approx. 14- 18 inches long, has a rather flat but round shell in comparison to many of the tortoises I've seen online.. flat scales on the arms and legs (not spurred). Its color is a darker chocolate brown. We have always thought it is a female although I'm not 100% sure how to even determine that. I will post a few pictures and I really hope some one can help me in determining the species, so I can ensure proper care :) all responses are appreciated. Thank you!

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dmmj

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Welcome to the forum, I hope you enjoy your visits here. sadly your pictures did not come through. I am just guessing but based on how long you have had it, I would say it is a desert tortoise. Pictures would help the ID process greatly.
 

Mortoise the Tortoise

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Thank you for your feedback!
I will continue to try and post my pictures :)
And will do a little research on the dessert tortoise in the meantime.
 

dmmj

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Desert tortoise for sure.
 

dmmj

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To be honest with you, since he has lived so long you must be doing something right, I would not really change much about his care, just let us know what his diet is like, maybe tweak that.
 

Mortoise the Tortoise

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That is comforting to know :)
Diet consists of grass and other misc. weeds like clovers and milk-weed, roses, berry bushes, a couple different succulents and flowers, lettuce, and the occasional fruits and veggies like watermelon, apples, and cantaloupe..
 

Yvonne G

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Hi Mortoise the Tortoise:

Welcome to the Tortoise Forum!!

Yup, you have a male desert tortoise there. I know its male from the gular (the part of the shell directly under his head). You've done an amazing job of keeping the tortoise healthy for not knowing what you have. Not often that happens. Keep doing what you're doing. Mortoise the Tortoise is benefiting from it.

What would you like us to call you?
 

Zamric

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Welcome to the Forum!

He looks good and his diet is Fine! Youv'e done a GREAT job with this one!
 

CLMoss

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Welcome! What a nice tortoise. He is lucky to have found such a wonderful family.
 

Mortoise the Tortoise

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Thank you everyone!
You may call me Lindsey.

Now, I have another question...
We are currently looking to re-landascape the yard around our house (we have a back yard, and a side yard,) the side yard is about half the size of the back. My tortoise currently inhabits a good third of the back yard (furthest from the house).

My question is, would it be risky to move his habitat to the side yard closest to the house?
It's about 20 to 30 feet away from where he has always been... We often let him roam throughout both yards in the summer during the day for a few supervised hours in the summer time, we like to call it his exercise :) so he is familiar with our entire yard, however he knows where his den is and will always find his way back when he gets tired.
Would this be too much change for him or too confusing as the landscaping would be a bit different yet still tortoise friendly?

I am just worried that he wouldn't adapt and would always try to find a way back to the other yard. (ofcourse he wouldn't be able to as there is a gate separating the yards.) I don't want to stress him out, however the side yard would provide more room for him as it would be all his.
Thank you for taking the time to help :)
 

JoesMum

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He'll cope. Joe has had to move house with us 3 times... A completely different yard, not the same one remodelled. There may be a bit of stomping, but he'll be fine.
 
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