New to Tortoises and grateful for this forum!

Shelwats

New Member
Joined
Sep 18, 2016
Messages
7
Location (City and/or State)
Carmel, California
I had posted this on another's post, then realized I should do it properly. Therefore....
I am so thankful to find your postz and see the beautiful homez you have provided. We inherited what we thought was a Golden Greek. But - after finding this forum - realize she is a Russian. I realize there are many things we need to do for our new family member. I brought home some of the groundcover plants she was munching on at her old home, and planted them in her enclosure. She tends to wait for me to toss something her way, but has plenty to graze on. Love the list of plants they can eat. I believe it is our responsibility to provide our 'pets' with their natural diet. My cat eats raw meat - and our tort eats plant life. Thinking she was a Greek, and needed warmer temperatures, I would stress every evening when I had to find her and dig her out so I could bring her in to her box. We bough her a Tortoise House. She has a flat rock, a bowl of water (that she absolutely avoids. If I put her in it she can't wait to scurry out?!) and ground coconut shell for bedding. Now I am wondering about 'substrate'? Should I add moss? 1/3 of her house is dark, with about 4" of this coconut stuff. She just sticks her head in the corner and digs. I don't know what she's trying to do, but I want to help her? I have not kept her bedding moist and have wanted to rub her shell with coconut oil - because it looks dry. I have placed littles piles of vita-sand Gobi Gold (that she ignores). I want to take care of her properly, and realize I am falling short. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
2015-09-27-15-29-15-jpg.187264
 

wellington

Well-Known Member
Moderator
10 Year Member!
Tortoise Club
Joined
Sep 6, 2011
Messages
40,446
Location (City and/or State)
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Hello and Welcome. They like to dig down. That's probably what she is trying to do. Plain dirt she would probably love. Don't use sand, it can cause impaction. Give her a warm water soak about once a month. If you can give her some humidity 30-50% that will help her looking dry. They roam a big area in the wild, so a minimum size enclosure would be a 4x8 or larger and as much room outside as you can.
 

Shelwats

New Member
Joined
Sep 18, 2016
Messages
7
Location (City and/or State)
Carmel, California
Thank you for your advice. I am going to add some dirt to her inside box and reconsider putting her out for the winter. When she's outside, buried, I worry about her. It's the helicopter in me. Perhaps I will work towards this act NEXT winter? I do enjoy her. She listens to me and looks for me to bring her flowers. Our cat likes to lay on her box and enjoys her too. They seem to appreciate each other :)
 

Blakem

Well-Known Member
5 Year Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2012
Messages
2,387
Location (City and/or State)
California
Welcome! Russian tortoise are great climbers!
 

RosemaryDW

Well-Known Member
Tortoise Club
5 Year Member
Platinum Tortoise Club
Joined
Feb 17, 2016
Messages
3,873
Location (City and/or State)
Newport Coast, CA
Welcome, she's a beautiful tortoise.

Ours has never used her water saucer. She'll usually drink while she's soaking and we've seen her lick dew water off a bush when she'd just come out of hibernation, but never, ever out of her dish! Just tramps through it on occasion.
 

Shelwats

New Member
Joined
Sep 18, 2016
Messages
7
Location (City and/or State)
Carmel, California
Welcome, she's a beautiful tortoise.

Ours has never used her water saucer. She'll usually drink while she's soaking and we've seen her lick dew water off a bush when she'd just come out of hibernation, but never, ever out of her dish! Just tramps through it on occasion.
Maybe I just have a 'dirty girl'! She's getting better at staying in the water - for about 30 seconds!
 
Top