Our new resident Lumpy

SWFLTortoise

Active Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2019
Messages
50
Location (City and/or State)
Bonita Springs, FL
Hi everyone,

Ive been reading and devouring these forums. Thank you all for sharing your wisdom. Its one thing to acquire knowledge, but another to share it.

We recently adopted Lumpy the sulcata tortoise. A co-worker of my wife purchased a house, and the sellers could not take Lumpy. Once we knew we would be getting Lumpy, we read these forums and other resources and planned out a pen for him. We wanted to give him a wide variety of places to explore, so we created a penned area below our kids playhouse. 20190324_165218.jpg

At this point, all we knew was that Lumpy was 20, and a Sulcata. I searched around for a typical weight of a 20 year old Sulcata and thought Lumpy would be around 80 lbs. The only photo we saw of Lumpy was the back of his leg and shell through the door of his house.

We went and picked up Lumpy and talked to the owners for a few minutes. They said they had Lumpy for about 20 years, the last 12 of which were outside in his pen here in Florida. Well Lumpy was larger than we expected. Okay, a lot larger. The owners were not sure how much he weighed. He was very healthy and came with his own 4' x 8' house. 20190416_211826.jpg 20190324_183731.jpg

I have a lot more to post, including weighing him, his summer home and the LumpyKart but i wanted to start here and see if I am able to post and if my photos show up.
 

SWFLTortoise

Active Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2019
Messages
50
Location (City and/or State)
Bonita Springs, FL
Fascinated with Lumpy, but having to work during the day, we decided to set up some inexpensive webcams. I ordered 2 Wyze webcams and 1 pan tilt Wyze webcams. We set up the pan tilt webcam overlooking his pen and use the other two webcams around the pen. I run these webcams on batteries (If anyone is interested, I will do a separate post). So now, during the day we can see what he is up to. Its great since he gets up late and goes to bed early, we otherwise would only see him on the weekends. We also will place one of the webcams on his shell so it travels around with him.

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Our entire yard (1 ¼ acres) is fenced, so daily we would leave the gate of his pen open in the afternoon to allow him to roam the full yard. I am aware that he has the capability of pushing under the chain link fence, and we have been monitoring that, but so far he has not tried. We will reinforce as needed.


So with the gate open in the afternoon, every day around 4pm he would travel from the back yard where his pen is, to the front yard where the grass is lush and tall over our drainfield. He would spend 1 – ½ hours there eating grass and then travel back to his house and go to bed by 6pm. Every single day. Like clockwork.

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After a week or two of that, he must have been more comfortable in his new surroundings, so he started exploring more, but almost always ends up in the front yard for his afternoon dinner. We have given him a variety of leafy greens, and he is somewhat choosey on which of those he likes. He really likes his grass, however. I think it has been his primary food source for a long long time. We occasionally give him watermelon, and that clearly is his FAVORITE treat.



About a week ago Lumpy did not return to his house, but instead found a place near a pallet of mulch in the front yard and closer to the tall grass. It was 6PM and he was settling down there, and it was evident he did not want to go back to his home. We loaded him up in the radio flyer wagon (not a pretty sight with him hanging over the sides) and took him home. The next night he went to the same spot to sleep, and we took him back to his home once again. By the third night it was evident that he liked this new location better.


I made a temporary shelter for him by cutting a 55 gallon drum in half long ways, extending the bottom with wood and placing it next to where he liked to sleep. It took him 2 days to decide to use that instead of sleeping out in the open.

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Well, he is a pretty big boy, and the 55 gallon drum was not large enough. I ended up making a larger shelter for his new favorite spot, and covering the top in mulch which I suspect regulates the inside temperature, and probably deadens the noise.

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I speculate that he selected this new spot because it is close to the lush grass, his primary food source. But I was fascinated at his insistence to keep returning to the new location he selected.

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I must say that I am impressed with the intelligence of a tortoise. Although sometimes he seems to be a bit on auto-pilot, other times he is clearly curious and very smart with navigating.




I have a lot more to post, including needing some advice on trimming his beak. I will probably post those in the Sulcata Section.
 

Yvonne G

Old Timer
TFO Admin
10 Year Member!
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Jan 23, 2008
Messages
84,807
Location (City and/or State)
Clovis, CA
The limp you see in the video has resolved itself. The previous owner thinks he may have been stung by a wasp.
I'm glad you said something about that, as I was going to comment.

Looking at that last picture, is he able to leave the property through the open gate in the driveway? They're real sneaky about open gates.
 

SWFLTortoise

Active Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2019
Messages
50
Location (City and/or State)
Bonita Springs, FL
I'm glad you said something about that, as I was going to comment.

Looking at that last picture, is he able to leave the property through the open gate in the driveway? They're real sneaky about open gates.
Hi Yvonne,

The gate is on an opener and we watch him while its closing (it's always closed except pulling a vehicle in or out), but it's something we are concious of. So far no issues.
 
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